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On 2/18/2017 at 11:55 AM, Sgt.Squarehead said:

NATO is a dinosaur and it should have gone the same way at the end of the Cold-War.....It's continual posturing to maintain its 'purpose' has been a veritable fountain of pointless bloodbaths ever since, from the Balkans to the Middle East.

Do not be trying to lecture me on morality.  :mellow:

It should have and was headed that way until Putin has shown that in fact NATO is still relevant.  And Russia has not been involved in any "bloodbaths"? We'll just kindly ignore Russia's military actions against it's neighbors, that will make your line of thought easier to follow.

I guess this is another thread headed to closure as the Russia apologist brigade is out in full force.

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TBH While I do consider myself a Russophile, I'm not all that pro-Russian politics.....But NATO's deceitful posturing makes me want to vomit! 

Hell why even call it NATO, it's the US.....A country that imprisons more of it's own than Mao or Stalin ever managed and which has reintroduced slavery by the back door for its 'African American' citizens.

You do realise that the only reason that you are reading this on the internet, not a clay-tablet, is because a British commander was in charge at Pristina, not an American?

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/1562161/Gen-Sir-Mike-Jackson-My-clash-with-Nato-chief.html

Edited by Sgt.Squarehead
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13 hours ago, John Kettler said:

IICptMillerII,

kuri is correct. There are some, precious few, NATO members who have met their 2% of GDP defense spending commitments. Unsurprisingly, a few of the ones who did are countries worried about the Bear! Poland and Estonia, with Lithuania and Latvia ramping up their defense budgets to join them. Britain barely made the cut, and was outperformed by sick man of Europe Greece, astounding as that may seem. Germany, Italy and Spain are all in the should be deeply embarrassing 1% range. Article below is from February 2017, with info current as of end of 2016.

http://www.economist.com/blogs/graphicdetail/2017/02/daily-chart-11

Regards,

John Kettler

Ah ok I stand corrected, a few more NATO members are meeting the spending requirements since last I checked. Thanks for the updated information. 

 

1 hour ago, Sgt.Squarehead said:

I'd go easy there Michael.....You may not have caught up with recent events, but the transcript of the verdict in the Radovan Karadic trial proves that the NATO war on the former Yugoslavia was once again based on lies

Yes, because it was NATO that was causing a genocide... Oh wait, wrong again. 

5 minutes ago, Sgt.Squarehead said:

Hell why even call it NATO, it's the US.....A country that imprisons more of it's own than Mao or Stalin ever managed and which has reintroduced slavery by the back door for its 'African American' citizens.

:lol::lol::lol: wew lad top kek. Praise Pepe!

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Read the Counterpunch article, then confirm the facts by looking at the relevant pages of the indictment (the links to both are provided).....It's not a simple story, but if you pick through the pieces to establish the facts, it's clear that the whole story stands about as much scrutiny as Saddam's WMDs.  :rolleyes:

Don't get me wrong, I'm not anti America, it's one of the nicest places I've ever visited, but some of the things the US military industrial complex has encouraged are simply beyond the pale.....You know it and I know it, let's face it, the whole world knows it.  :mellow:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unethical_human_experimentation_in_the_United_States

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_United_States_incarceration_rate_with_other_countries

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PRISM_(surveillance_program

Need I go on? 

Edited by Sgt.Squarehead
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Seems like Europe's not quite so impressed with NATO after all.....At least not to the point of putting their hand in their pocket and paying for it: 

http://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-nato-defence-eu-idUKKBN15V31O

Without the US & UK what would be left, the French contribution (three croissants and a bottle of wine) and a bunch of East European former Warsaw Pact countries with a collective chip on their shoulder.....I fear the financial burden on the US & UK taxpayers will have to grow yet more to keep this monster fed.  :rolleyes:

 

Edited by Sgt.Squarehead
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4 hours ago, Sgt.Squarehead said:

Seems like Europe's not quite so impressed with NATO after all.....At least not to the point of putting their hand in their pocket and paying for it: 

http://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-nato-defence-eu-idUKKBN15V31O

Without the US & UK what would be left, the French contribution (three croissants and a bottle of wine) and a bunch of East European former Warsaw Pact countries with a collective chip on their shoulder.....I fear the financial burden on the US & UK taxpayers will have to grow yet more to keep this monster fed.  :rolleyes:

 

If you read about Eastern European History with particular reference to the way they have been treated by Russia in the past yu might better understand why countries like Poland an  the Baltic states fear Russia. It is commonly argued that Russia is paranoid about being invaded from the West but we must also consider past Russian aggression. Russian involvement in the 18th Century partitions f Poland. the 1939 invasion of Finland, the 1940 annexation of the Baltic States for example. The post Cold War Eastern European governments correctly saw NATO as their insurance policy against future aggression by their far larger neighbour to the East. Furthermore, during the Cold War we, in Western Europe lived for over forty years with the threat of invasion by massed tank armies of the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact. Not to mention the threat of nuclear annihilation. That is why we also regard Russia with dark suspicion.

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16 hours ago, Sgt.Squarehead said:

Strangely, Germany a country next door but one to the carnage in the Ukraine, doesn't seem to feel very threatened.  :rolleyes:

It is not Germany that feels threatened. It is Poland and the Baltic States. Given the previous history and the way Moscow has been behaving over the last two or three years in particular these states have good reason to feel nervous. They have seen what happened to Chechnya, Georgia and Ukraine. You need to view the situation from the perspective of Warsaw, Riga etc

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-26526053

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-31759558

NATO membership of course isan insurance policy for Eastern European governments.

In strategic terms irt would be a significant coup for Moscow to bring Belarus under Russian control. Russian forces based in Belarus could, in a future war be used to mount a direct invasion into Poland and/or into the Baltic State linking up with Kaliningrad. Given that NATO forces might well still be in the process of mobilizing and deploying to Eastern Europe these Russian moves would be highly disruptive and potentially result in a situation where the Baltic States are overrun and Poland knocked out of the war generating an early battlefield success for Putin with important political ramifications

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With NATO/US troops in those countries that would quickly lead to all-out war and that means thermo-nuclear. 

If Russia is convinced that nuclear war will result, its leaders, who have comfortable lives and families, will be less likely to risk it.  No worries...

So, the only real question is whether the US/Western Europe can maintain the credible threat of certain nuclear war to save the Baltics and/or Poland.

Far better to put the current issues with Russia on temporary stasis and deal with the serous global threat from the China-North Korea axis (which also threatens Russia).  The North Korea-China axis is the only enemy with nuclear weapons and strategic ICBM capability which enjoys regularly threatening our Allies in Asia as well as US interests in the area and indeed the US homeland itself with destruction. 

And yes, we should also cooperate with whomever has capability to destroy the threat of Islamic terrorism.  We need employ the philosophy that "the enemy of our enemy" is our friend.  Deal with East Europe issues economically after the most important problems are solved.

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6 hours ago, LUCASWILLEN05 said:

It is not Germany that feels threatened. It is Poland and the Baltic States. Given the previous history and the way Moscow has been behaving over the last two or three years in particular these states have good reason to feel nervous. They have seen what happened to Chechnya, Georgia and Ukraine. You need to view the situation from the perspective of Warsaw, Riga etc

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-26526053

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-31759558

NATO membership of course isan insurance policy for Eastern European governments.

In strategic terms irt would be a significant coup for Moscow to bring Belarus under Russian control. Russian forces based in Belarus could, in a future war be used to mount a direct invasion into Poland and/or into the Baltic State linking up with Kaliningrad. Given that NATO forces might well still be in the process of mobilizing and deploying to Eastern Europe these Russian moves would be highly disruptive and potentially result in a situation where the Baltic States are overrun and Poland knocked out of the war generating an early battlefield success for Putin with important political ramifications

Again, it is a pure political fiction. And please don't throw Poland and the Baltic States into the same bag, Poland doesn't have Russian minority and the only people that speak Russian in Poland are Ukrainian migrants and students. Poland feels nervous about Russia since always so nothing new here - with politicians being most nervous - as usually. 

I think only Baltic States may have some legitimate concerns, though military action is unlikely. Belarus is out of question, any influence attempts by NATO countries are likely to provoke war. Don't get fooled by Lukashenko's maneuevers -almost no Belarus citizen would ever act against Russians.

Some other concern of eastern europe's NATO countries is fear of a potential local small scale nuclear attack - many people in Poland are convinced NOONE in NATO except USA would ever react in other way than starting immediate de-escalating negotiations.

 

Edited by Ashez
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"...many people in Poland are convinced NOONE in NATO except USA would ever react in other way than starting immediate de-escalating negotiations." 

Not 100% sure I understand what you meant.  But, if you imply that if one side always wants to de-escalate whenever the other side is psychopathic enough to threaten nuclear war, then that means concessions by the "de-escalating" side and the aggressive side essentially wins - then yes, that's about right and hence the dilemma with North Korea with tacit approval and support from China. 

I chatted with an ambassador to N. Korea a few years ago about why the US was providing enormous aid to North Korea and of course the thinking at the time was that it would eventually civilize/soften the North Korean regime.  Now we see how well that appeasement theory worked out.  :wacko:

 

 

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1 hour ago, Erwin said:

Not 100% sure I understand what you meant. 

OK. Things go really nasty - no matter how and who was responsible for escalation. Russia goes nuclear and drops just 2 nukes. One on Warsaw, one on Vilnius. Many people fear USA is the only NATO country that would be ready to do anything other than talk or condemn. NATO can easily draw EE countries into conflict, test where the red line is and then step back.

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Actually Ashez has a very interesting point and if I recall correctly one of the major points of contention within NATO. A conventional attack on a member state is of course an attack on all other members. We've seen this article called into action before. But nuclear war is another question.

I'm not familiar with current nuclear doctrine, but I do remember some blind studies done in the Cold War that found an alarming number of USAF officers wouldn't follow through with orders to conduct a nuclear attack. It begs the question whether US or any other NATO leadership is willing to put tens of millions of their citizens and a couple of decades of economic progress at risk to respond. With the Soviet Union, there was the perceived threat against all of Europe and even the USA. That held the alliance together fairly firmly. Does that same threat exist now? Probably not. With the study I mentioned before, combined with a reluctance to respond from a lack of existential threat it begs the question if the alliance would hold together.

Now, the same principles apply to Russia, and I think they stand much more to lose from such an aggressive and brazen action. I don't peg Mr. Putin as a Nixon analogue to play the Madman Strategy to the point of such a tipping point.

Also brings the idea of limited nuclear war into mind, with both sides being reluctant to escalate, or even a straight conventional war. Think of the French promise to go nuclear when the Soviets reached the Rhine - when their integrity is threatened, but not before.

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I read this thread and went from moving to lock it to letting it keep going to locking it up again.  The discussion has come around to a more military themed discussion and that is saving it from the padlock icon.

Nukes can't win wars, but they can end civilization as we know it.  If the West used nukes first (which is against it's policies and principles), Russia has no option except to respond or surrender.  If Russia used nukes first (which is not against it's policies or principles), the West has options other than using nukes.

The Russian economy is totally dependent upon trade with the West.  If the West were nuked (or even conventionally attacked), at a minimum all trade with Russia would cease with all countries of economic significance.  All financial assets held by Russian interests would be frozen, it would be effectively cut off from the Internet, and overnight the Russian economy would collapse worse than anything it has ever seen, including the chaos of the 1990s.  Russians would likely not be too happy with that outcome.  Certainly the oligarchs would be pissed.  And there would be other moves, such as cyber attacks and conventional actions which Russia could not fully counter.

Which is why talking nukes isn't really all that interesting.  If it happens, we're all screwed in some way.  But in all scenarios Russia will cease to exist even if not a single nuke hits its territory.

I have a very low opinion of the Russian government, but I am pretty certain that they are very aware of this.  Putin and his oligarch supporters aren't likely to be very keen on having nothing to spend their fortunes on.  Personal greed and selflessness are usually not things that make me sleep well at night, but in this case it is.

Steve

 

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24 minutes ago, Battlefront.com said:

If the West used nukes first (which is against it's policies and principles)

Wasn't Massive Retaliation the US doctrine before AirLand Battle - any military action against me or my allies means I hit you with everything in my arsenal?  I agree WRT to the USSR, though.  Nuclear weapons under their doctrine were just another military means against a peer opponent.  I think they recognised that they couldn't win a war without their use, so planned accordingly.

26 minutes ago, Battlefront.com said:

Which is why talking nukes isn't really all that interesting.  If it happens, we're all screwed in some way.  But in all scenarios Russia will cease to exist even if not a single nuke hits its territory.

Perhaps I've been reading too much Herman Kahn, but while the use of nuclear weapons would no doubt be devestating, the equation changed somewhat with the advent of more accurate targeting and nuclear disarmament. Accurate targeting means smaller warheads, most of which are targeted counterforce rather than countervalue due to the second point.  Fewer warheads means more are reserved for hitting military installations and especially enemy nuclear assets.

After all, what is the objective of any first strike?  To destroy your opponent's ability to counter strike.  This means destroying warheads in-place and disrupting command and control.  Urban centers aren't targets anymore (and as far as I know haven't really been targets since the 50's), instead replaced by actual military installations (some of which may be near cities). The first strike needs to send your opponent reeling so badly that they have no option but to sue for peace with you so you can dictate your terms.

Yes, their use certainly means a change for the worse with millions dead and economic disaster worse than the Great Depression, but it's not the end of governance, civilization, or the start of a nuclear winter.  It's recoverable, though less so than before due to the lack of focus on civil defence nowadays.

I agree with Russia as we know it going the way of the dodo, though.  The pressure from oligarchs and governors post-attack likely means the Russian state fracturing under the pressure put on and around Putin for bringing it upon them.

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4 hours ago, Battlefront.com said:

I read this thread and went from moving to lock it to letting it keep going to locking it up again.  The discussion has come around to a more military themed discussion and that is saving it from the padlock icon.

Nukes can't win wars, but they can end civilization as we know it.  If the West used nukes first (which is against it's policies and principles), Russia has no option except to respond or surrender.  If Russia used nukes first (which is not against it's policies or principles), the West has options other than using nukes.

The Russian economy is totally dependent upon trade with the West.  If the West were nuked (or even conventionally attacked), at a minimum all trade with Russia would cease with all countries of economic significance.  All financial assets held by Russian interests would be frozen, it would be effectively cut off from the Internet, and overnight the Russian economy would collapse worse than anything it has ever seen, including the chaos of the 1990s.  Russians would likely not be too happy with that outcome.  Certainly the oligarchs would be pissed.  And there would be other moves, such as cyber attacks and conventional actions which Russia could not fully counter.

Which is why talking nukes isn't really all that interesting.  If it happens, we're all screwed in some way.  But in all scenarios Russia will cease to exist even if not a single nuke hits its territory.

I have a very low opinion of the Russian government, but I am pretty certain that they are very aware of this.  Putin and his oligarch supporters aren't likely to be very keen on having nothing to spend their fortunes on.  Personal greed and selflessness are usually not things that make me sleep well at night, but in this case it is.

Steve

 

Absolutely on "the money".  You can't beat self-interest and the Russian oligarchs have a much too comfortable set-up to want to threaten their own lifestyles and families.  (Go watch "Meet The Russians" depicting their lives in London on Brit TV.)  And on the whole we can probably include Iran in the "safe through selfish self-interest" column.   It's the nutjobs mentioned earlier that comprise the existential threats. 

Also, nukes are not the only threat or the most likely.  A chem-bio attack is far more achievable by small or non-state nutjob actors and as a result is arguably by far the more likely In the next decade.

Edited by Erwin
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6 hours ago, Battlefront.com said:

The Russian economy is totally dependent upon trade with the West.  If the West were nuked (or even conventionally attacked), at a minimum all trade with Russia would cease with all countries of economic significance.  All financial assets held by Russian interests would be frozen, it would be effectively cut off from the Internet, and overnight the Russian economy would collapse worse than anything it has ever seen, including the chaos of the 1990s.  Russians would likely not be too happy with that outcome.  Certainly the oligarchs would be pissed.  And there would be other moves, such as cyber attacks and conventional actions which Russia could not fully counter.

Which is why talking nukes isn't really all that interesting.  If it happens, we're all screwed in some way.  But in all scenarios Russia will cease to exist even if not a single nuke hits its territory.

I really think you underestimate Russian resilience. The dependencies are mutual, half of Europe depends on Russian natural gas. Economic crisis would be world wide, it would all boil down to question if you can feed your people and keep alive as many as possible. I am sure Russia would survive limited nuclear exchange as a state easily, people in Russia can swallow a lot. USA however would not. All tensions -racial, regional and others -supressed by authorities during the peace time would make the country implode. USA is the single western country where during one natural disaster the rest of the world could see pictures of gangs shooting police helicopters.

People in Russia are tougher. It is really hard to break them. You can hurt them but not break. This is why any serious Russian 'opposition' matters only in western media. One more thing about Russian leadership: Putin is predictable. He lies but no more than US dep.of state or so called 'intelligence community'. Russian diplomacy is predictable and respected by everyone outside transatlantic area. I would fear what happens when Putin is out. With Shoigu you may have Russian hawks in power and probable war. And they will not ignore McCain or Graham's insane mumblings, warmongering and hostility.

 

 

Edited by Ashez
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