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Russia posturing to invade Ukraine


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Meh... I'm busy worrying about where the MLB all-star game will be played and what Delter and Coke think about election law.  

Russia can have Ukraine... and I'm indifferent on Taiwan.

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13 hours ago, DirkDiggler said:

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.politico.com/amp/news/magazine/2021/03/15/russia-putin-invasion-ukraine-baltics-nato-475527
 

This was a pretty interesting opinion piece on this very topic, I hope things don’t come to a full blown invasion.  I’m truly not certain what our decision caucus would be if that happens.

I read that article as well. IMO, Ukraine may be a lost cause for the West. The precedent of Russian troops fighting in the country is long established & no treaty exists that would compel Western nations to act, even in the event of a full scale invasion. The Baltics present a much more concerning issue. They joined NATO precisely because they realized the threat Russia continued to present to their independent existence. They uphold their commitments to the alliance and are fully entitled to all the benefits of being NATO members, including the invocation of Article 5 if necessary. They are good people who are fiercely proud of shaking off the shackles of Russian (and German) rule. (Highly recommend a visit to the museum of occupation in Riga if you’re ever there.) The United States and NATO should be very clear in their messaging to Putin that any aggression in the Baltics will, in fact be treated as an attack on the alliance writ large and that he should tread very carefully on his western frontier. 

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Meh... I'm busy worrying about where the MLB all-star game will be played and what Delter and Coke think about election law.  
Russia can have Ukraine... and I'm indifferent on Taiwan.
Goodbye US led world order then, hello whatever comes next.  I dislike free riding allies who talk us down and are ungrateful (at least publicly) but I doubt the world order that comes in the wake of Pax Americana is one we would be ok with.
Unless we are willing to ditch globalization to the max extent possible re-industrializing our economy, eschewing owing debt to unfriendly countries, severely limiting migration/engagement (foreign residents, students, etc...) for some period of time (likely 20 years) for economic and security reasons and only carefully choosing any further foreign entanglements or military engagements... the future where we let vulnerable nations at the periphery of our sphere of influence meet whatever fate they meet is not one I would want.
I'm ok with doing all of the above  and becoming far more removed from the fray, I just think the consensus required to actually do that and create a far more independent and resilient Fortress America is not there, too many elites in America are invested in Global America vs. Fortress America so it's just not realistic IMHO.
What to do if the winds of war with Russia blow over Ukraine?
* Lethal aid, cyber, financial and SOF / PMC as COA 1.
* Lethal aid, cyber, financial and Conventional Military Deployment to Western Ukraine (west of the Dnieper) at the public request of the sovereign, independent government of Ukraine as COA 2. 
- Deployed forces would be US + partners willing to immediately go (thinking UK, Australia, Poland, Baltics, Romania, etc...)
- Size TBD but go big or don't go, 8 BCTs plus deployment of 3 CAF wings from the states. 
- Plan on this mission becoming a new Korea, long term / permanent deterrence presence.
 * Lethal aid, cyber, financial and Conventional Military Deployment to Western Ukraine (west of the Dnieper) at the public request of the sovereign, independent government of Ukraine as COA 3 but under NATO with the immediate incorporation of Ukraine as a NATO partner, status of the Crimea accepted as is now with no action nor recognition as Russian Federation territory.  All other caveats remain for this COA but drawing on the Europeans for about 75% of the deployed forces.
 
Info on Ukraine and population / language / cultural / political composition:
https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/odr/could-partition-solve-ukraines-problems/
https://www.polgeonow.com/2014/03/ukraine-divisions-election-language.html
 
Anyone have recommendations for books about the history of Ukrainian/Russian relations and/or the Balkans? I'm ignorant on the topic.
Haven't read these but this what the Googler came back with:
https://fivebooks.com/best-books/ukraine-marci-shore/
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5 hours ago, Prozac said:

I read that article as well. IMO, Ukraine may be a lost cause for the West. The precedent of Russian troops fighting in the country is long established & no treaty exists that would compel Western nations to act, even in the event of a full scale invasion. The Baltics present a much more concerning issue. They joined NATO precisely because they realized the threat Russia continued to present to their independent existence. They uphold their commitments to the alliance and are fully entitled to all the benefits of being NATO members, including the invocation of Article 5 if necessary. They are good people who are fiercely proud of shaking off the shackles of Russian (and German) rule. (Highly recommend a visit to the museum of occupation in Riga if you’re ever there.) The United States and NATO should be very clear in their messaging to Putin that any aggression in the Baltics will, in fact be treated as an attack on the alliance writ large and that he should tread very carefully on his western frontier. 

Ukraine is not a full member of NATO and likely never will be. It fails to meet some important steps for membership including contiguous and secure borders. (The disputes over Crimea/other areas of Ukraine prevent it from upholding that criteria and Russia knows it's in its best interest to flare new incursions to keep that on a slow boil. )

Ukraine is a lost cause for the West. Russia has more at stake including the fact that Russians trace their ethnic ancestry to the Ukraine making it a culturally important place for Russian control. We may dislike it but here's the thing:

Russia is concerned with history. And while we see them as aggressive post WW2, they see the opposite. Russia has unfavorable terrain on its western borders and Europe has used that to invade Russia several times, including Hitler, Napolean and others. Russia does not trust the West because every time they've tried, large European states parked an Army on the Eurasian plane. This stretch of land is incredibly hard for Russia to defend and they want as much of a barrier to avoid fighting there as possible. 

Where the Ukraine discussion is important is other Baltic States. Russia's westward expansion had your three Baltic NATO members on edge. A recent report completed by (I think RAND) concluded that Russia could take all three capitals within 72 hours before allies have a chance to respond. This changes the flavor of the conflict from a defensive one to an offensive one; trying to liberate fortified territory. 

We also know Putin's aggressions ions are predictable. He uses foreign conflict when their domestic economy suffers to take focus off a failing work force. With COVID wreaking havoc as it is, it's unsurprising that Putin is looking for some adventurism. 

Another thing to consider too. What's scarier? A strong beligererant Russia, or a weak unstable one? The amount of nuclear weapons they have arsenaled makes both a dangerous threat. The Russia problem is probably one of the most complex in the world.

 

Edit: just reread this and holy crap I'm going to blame autocorrect. 

 

 

Edited by FLEA
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2 hours ago, FLEA said:

We also know Putin's aggressions ions are predictable. He uses foreign conflict when their domestic economy suffers to take focus off a failing work force. With COVID wreaking havoc as it is, it's unsurprising that Putin is looking for some adventurism. 

Good thing we’ve never seen that in the US...

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