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Stoker last won the day on April 3 2020

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  1. It's not a hard question to answer. The Capitol Police were/are a glorified security guard force, where anyone competent leaves for a different federal agency ASAP. Leadership roles go to people who've stuck around by default. You spend enough time sitting by a metal detector, you eventually freeze when it comes time to start shooting.
  2. In my mind, it's pretty much because they didn't fight back in 2014. There is a plausible (if not legally legitimate) argument for Russia to own Crimea - it was the least Ukrainian part of Ukraine (thanks to successful ethnic cleansing on the part of the Soviets). Within Ukraine, there wasn't nearly as much appetite for conflict with Russia - a good chunk of the country thought they should be oriented towards Russia, not the West. I've read a couple of the opinion polls done in Ukraine now about the war - the country is united to a level you wouldn't believe if someone told you the poll was done in the US. Something like 90% of the population is convinced they'll win the war, and virtually all of the pro-Russian sentiment is gone (not least because the people with pro-Russian sentiment were likely drafted by the Russians and sent to their deaths).
  3. We've sent $75 billion of aid total, and that includes near-expired or obsolete equipment and ammunition donated at book value. The war is almost certainly a net positive for the US economy - Europe is buying gas from us instead of the Russians, the developing world is getting their grain from Iowa instead of Ukraine, and the entire world is buying American military hardware instead of post Soviet crap or indigenously developed "better than nothing" gear.
  4. You don't think it might strengthen Ukrainian troops' resolve? Their are still areas of the world where the words "US president" has meaning and respect.
  5. We've given them something like $20b so far, but it's really all about the accounting. If an artillery shell costs $500 and has a shelf life of 20 years, does giving an artillery shell that's twenty years old to Ukraine count as a $500 cost? IIRC virtually all of the early equipment we gave to Ukraine was either obsolete already or due to be replaced in a couple years. Stingers, humvees, MRAPs... I can write a report about how these cost X to produce and we gave them to Ukraine but that doesn't account for the fact that they were destined for the scrapheap. If you were king of defense appropriations, how much would it be worth to you if you could buy a magic button that crippled the Russian military for a decade or three?
  6. Jeb is too much of a policy wonk to survive in today's politics. No one gives a crap about how you're going to increase the effectiveness of program x by y percent. They want to hear how you'll punish people who think differently and spend money on people who think like them.
  7. Well I guess that's why we have elections. The "keep helping people kill Russians" party did historically well during the last midterms.
  8. The money and effort we spend supporting Ukraine will effectively terminate the ability of our second greatest foe to threaten European security at a less than nuclear scale for the next twenty years or so. I think we should spend commensurate with how much we value that goal. I don't know, man, I'm just a guy who flies planes, not a senior staffer on the Appropriations committee. I guess my point is, the people who moan and complain about all the money we're spending on Ukraine are either willful or ignorant puppets of Russian information shaping efforts. If someone from your political party had a magic deal where, for 2% of Federal spending a year, they could reunite Europe behind a pro-US banner, crush one of our biggest enemies, generate new markets for US energy exports, and protect 45 million people from subjugation, oppression, and extermination, would you say that is a good deal?
  9. All spending has diminishing marginal utility. There's definitely a point where the "dead Soviets per dollar" ratio doesn't justify spending more. But we aren't close to it yet.
  10. For what it's worth, looking at the internal numbers the great FO oversupply at the regionals should be gone by the end of the summer if not earlier. Of the excess FOs, it seems like about 25% are upgrading or leaving for an LCC every month.
  11. For anyone who complains about the cost of the war effort to the US, and points to the US debt... you do realize that the money we're spending on Ukraine is a rounding error compared to Federal spending and liabilities, right? I realize this sounds absurd, but $14 billion just isn't a lot of money. We've basically spent the cost of one Ford-class aircraft carrier to cripple our second most powerful foe for at least a generation. That's a good deal, in my book.
  12. Interesting thing about the North Korean medals, remember that they're effectively an aristocracy based on loyalty to the regime. If you're in the military, you wear the medals your dad and grandad won, to show how you come from a long line of Kim supporters.
  13. That memo reads like it's written by someone who doesn't actually believe that rapid global mobility is a tool in the strategic bag just like blowing people up is. Read about the Berlin Airlift and the strategic dilemmas a bunch of transport aircraft were able to create for the Soviets, and options they created for the US, and none of those pilots were shooting pistols at targets or flying like cowboys. The ability to deliver a couple thousand tons of cargo a day, safely, is a unique and war-winning capability in the right circumstances - we need to play to our strengths, not pretend we're ACC light.
  14. The freight rail unions going on strike would have crippled dozens of industries across the country that don't have any alternative to get their material inputs, and even getting within four days of the start of the strike would force all of the rail companies to take actions that would have ripple effects for weeks. A single airline union going on strike takes down one airline of many, with plenty of transportation alternatives as Southwest's latest debacle has shown.
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