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Thread: Does Germany Need the Bomb?

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    Default Does Germany Need the Bomb?

    Recently front-page in a German broadsheet (can't locate article text online):

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    "Does Germany Need the Bomb?"

    "Yes..."

    And a response from Tagesspiegel on why Germany doesn't need the bomb.

    Uh oh. @Husar
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  2. #2
    master of the pwniverse Member Fragony's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does Germany Need the Bomb?

    Read up on neo-realist theory, starting with Kenneth Waltz probably, a diversion from classical political realism where only power is assumed to be the dominator
    Last edited by Fragony; 08-11-2018 at 06:57.

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    BrownWings: AirViceMarshall Member Furunculus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does Germany Need the Bomb?

    i've seen this proposition mocked all across the security community on twitter.

    germany needs to first get serious about; foriegn policy, public acceptance of defence funding, conventional defence capability...
    ... before it even thinks about nukes!

    it would be like giving a gun to a four year old; in having no strategic culture within which to frame their use, no active public debate on that use, and no graduated escalation for conflict before some panicky person arrives at their only remaining option: "PUSH THE BUTTON!"

    germany chooses to self-define as a child, but fortunately it has a nuclear shield provided by the UK and US through NATO, its parents. yes, the UK deterrent (unlike the french one) is a NATO asset.
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    Coffee farmer extraordinaire Member spmetla's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does Germany Need the Bomb?

    Arguably Germany sorta 'had/has' the Bomb already throughout the Cold War (and now?) in which their Tornado Fighter/Bombers would use US supplied bombs. That being the reason that Germany wanted to get the US okay to use the Eurofighter for that purpose:
    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-g...-idUSKBN1JG1J4

    My personal opinion would be that so long as the US, UK, and France are all in NATO and maintain their nuclear arsenals then no, Germany would not need a truly independent arsenal. If they pursued one anyhow they are missing out on the most effective and secure method of delivery which is via ballistic missile submarines seeing as land and air based systems are vulnerable to a first strike, hacking, etc..

    Also in a Germany in which they are getting rid of nuclear power I cannot even imagine how they could get their public behind nuclear weapons, there's simply zero political/social support for such a capability. They are not in a situation like Japan/South Korea in which they are the only two capable military powers able to contend against a Russia or PRC war with or without the US.

    They'd be far better served if they sought to improve their conventional and special operations capabilities such as getting their spare parts/ maintenance down time issues fixed or growing their military to match their domestic and overseas commitments (Chad, Turkey ADA, Afghanistan, Baltic Air Policing, Kosovo, anti-piracy operations etc..).
    Last edited by spmetla; 08-11-2018 at 08:38.

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    master of the pwniverse Member Fragony's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does Germany Need the Bomb?

    Yes they already have these things. So do we in the Netherlands, Belgium has nukes as well. How ready they are I don know, probably not as ready as every city in Europe France has pointed theirs, comfy place tjat Europe isn it

    Fun fact not all that much, the nuclair tech of Pakistan comes from here, kinda slipped. Whoknows how many of these ... things... are really there, I don't. In a twisted way it is comforting that everything can burn as log as everybody stays reasonable. I would not stay on Hawai if I were you Spmetla you are going to get hit. I do not know how it works but sometimes I see things in advance, usually I am wrong but sometimes not
    Last edited by Fragony; 08-11-2018 at 09:55.

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    Iron Fist Senior Member Husar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does Germany Need the Bomb?

    It would be a great suicide device before we all get killed by the neoliberal heatwave:

    https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/...ing-earth.html

    It's funny how some seem to believe we could terraform Mars but refuse to accept man-made climate change. And here we are talking about nukes as a security issue while we're already scorching our entire planet without them just fine.

    I'm not going to reply with expletives to what Furunculus posted, but he's wrong anyway and he forgot something very important as always, something that is only mentioned to display it in a negative light and forgotten when its positives apply.....
    By the way, WELT is from the same company that makes BILD, the worst, most popular tabloid in Germany...


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    Default Re: Does Germany Need the Bomb?

    I think Furunc is right in that, in terms of process, logistics, doctrine, etc. a nuclear program is higher on the, eh, tech tree than basic terrestrial military capacity.

    Fragony, at risk of being taken as silly again, should be more careful and stress that Dutch and Belgian nuclear weapons are just American nuclear weapons deployed on their territory. We used to (?) have nukes in Japan and Korea as well.

    Husar, that NYT article is novella-length, have you really read it?

    By the way, I found the original Welt article.
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    master of the pwniverse Member Fragony's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does Germany Need the Bomb?

    These US nukes are gathering dust next to somoenes NES-game collection

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    Iron Fist Senior Member Husar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does Germany Need the Bomb?

    Quote Originally Posted by Montmorency View Post
    I think Furunc is right in that, in terms of process, logistics, doctrine, etc. a nuclear program is higher on the, eh, tech tree than basic terrestrial military capacity.
    Yeah, but why should I care as long as his strategic interests make him send his people to defend me?
    I'm just maximizing my profits here...


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    Coffee farmer extraordinaire Member spmetla's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does Germany Need the Bomb?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fragony View Post
    Yes they already have these things. So do we in the Netherlands, Belgium has nukes as well. How ready they are I don know, probably not as ready as every city in Europe France has pointed theirs, comfy place that Europe isn't

    Fun fact not all that much, the nuclear tech of Pakistan comes from here, kinda slipped. Who knows how many of these ... things... are really there, I don't. In a twisted way it is comforting that everything can burn as log as everybody stays reasonable. I would not stay on Hawai if I were you Spmetla you are going to get hit. I do not know how it works but sometimes I see things in advance, usually I am wrong but sometimes not

    These US nukes are gathering dust next to somenes NES-game collection
    The state of readiness is probably pretty low, the US arsenal is in a low state of readiness (outside of US Navy boomers) and is a source of repeated USAF scandals. Additionally the countries which would carry the US bombs probably haven't trained on conducting a nuclear strike on East Europe/Russia in years, possibly decades. As for gathering dust, to be completely honest that is the best use of a nuclear weapon. It should be ready and available for use but its gathering dust is a sign that it's deterrent is working and effective. Would be more cost effective to get the available deterrent to high standard of readiness and safety instead of embarking on a separate weapon system for Germany. This would like I said also require Germany to devote resources to ballistic missiles, nuclear submarines or ballistic missile capable diesel subs, silos etc... All to be a redundant deterrent and at the expense of the already suffering conventional military.

    Yes, Hawaii could get hit, if a war with the PRC or Russia ever went nuclear I'm sure Hawaii, Guam, Okinawa, and mainland Japan would receive no shortage of nuclear weapons. If it were a rogue state like North Korea there is a chance the the missiles could be intercepted so thankfully we had our ballistic missile attack false alarm earlier :D

    I think what all the major powers around the world are seeing is that with the US and Russia not in a state of perpetually ready to obliterate each other that the likelihood of a nuclear war is less of course but that a conventional war is far more likely. Would most Western leaders back nuclear strikes on Russia or the PRC as a response to a conventional military strike or action? Their public would probably decry it as bullying overkill even if it were the loss of something major like an aircraft carrier.

    As such, I fear that in the event of say Russia invading the Baltic states or doing some sort of action like in the show 'Occupied' or even if the PRC attacked Taiwan or Vietnam/Philippines over the South China Seas islands that our current public trends towards isolationism (the US) and disarmament (most of Europe) would cause the US and major western powers to fold under the threat. In a "why die for Danzig?" situation of the present day I don't think people really care about the collective security of the Western World anymore. No one wants a major war but I don't want to have to have Munich like concessions given to the world's strongmen. Trump calling into question why we should back the "aggressive" State of Montenegro is sadly endorsed by a lot of his supporters. If the US were to possibly abandon its treaty obligations to mutual defense what does anyone think the chances are that any other NATO, East Asian, or EU power would risk outright war with Russia or the PRC?
    This wouldn't require Germany to build up an independent nuclear deterrent because already mentioned they don't have the political will to use such a capability anyhow and if they were in such a situation I certainly hope that at least France and the UK would be on their side. Getting the EU's and NATO conventional capabilities to at least be in a reasonable state of readiness in the unlikely event that they needed to send actual Troops to contest Russians driving into the Baltic States or any of our other NATO allies.

    Yeah, but why should I care as long as his strategic interests make him send his people to defend me?
    I'm just maximizing my profits here...
    Because sadly it looks like Trump and a frightful amount of the American public believe that if you're too weak or small to put up a reasonable fight then you're not worth defending. Putin is definitely getting his money's worth out of Trump's putting NATO's mutual defense into question and getting a fair number of people on his side that don't want to US to interfere or help anyone unless it directly benefits the US in immediate and absolutely clear ways.
    As long as we have enough US troops already there to fight and sadly die in the initial part of such an unlikely war then the US public would probably galvanize behind a war effort. The absence of those troops to shed blood makes it so much easier for the US to decide it's not involved and abandon its friends and allies.
    Last edited by spmetla; 08-12-2018 at 03:59.

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  11. #11

    Default Re: Does Germany Need the Bomb?

    In case it's not clear, I posted this because the idea of 'Germans consider nuclear weapons program' is amusing to me, for reasons you will intuitively understand I'm sure. It's also less realistic, and therefore not as scary as, 'Japanese consider nuclear weapons program/remilitarization.'


    Spmetla, Occupied is a cool enough show (I haven't finished the second season), but the premise doesn't make a lick of sense: the EU invites Russia to occupy Norway to maintain oil production? Wouldn't Russia, you know, prefer not to invest so much in a country for the sake of propping up its competitive industries? NATO or no, the major EU countries (UK, France, Germany) would probably not be comfortable with accepting Russian forces across the Danish straits (let alone Sweden, Finland, Poland...). And the EU votes to follow this this (clearly illegal) course of action? What happened in Ukraine in this universe (first season preceding that real-world crisis)? The show does require significant suspension of disbelief to work.

    The Baltic vulnerability can never be resolved with military buildup; even in the Cold War it was the doctrinal consensus to accept the fall of most or all of West Germany in the event of war. A military buildup to the point of correcting this would be socially and economically ruinous, and require stationing hundreds of thousands of troops in place. These troops would also have to be extensively depoted and backed up with similar reserves in Eastern Europe since the Baltics would be instantly isolated by land regardless of their garrison. Meanwhile, Russia itself would be provoked into surging its own military budget, polarizing its politics and causing a more aggressive and risky posture than even now along its border in response to the astonishing and unprecedented new threat from the West. Putting "credible deterrent" merely in terms of linear military function would invariably worsen both the military and political risks. Not to mention its not even possible in the first place; no future government is going to double the military and (presumably) reinstate the draft for the sake of "deterring" Russia.

    So how about those mooted "modest" increases in spending and optimizations in logistics and doctrine? Of course these alone can't actually deter Russia too much because they do not represent a significant change in military reality on the Baltic Front. The main cost to Russia will never be in the potential of being defeated outright, but in fighting the war in the first place. This fact has to be the nail of any European strategy. If the perceived costs to Russia fall below the perceived benefits in occupying a Baltic state or any other, NATO can't fix that. So Trump's undermining the principle of collective defense, as a political variable, is probably more damaging than any post-Cold War defense innervation.

    All of this instead reflects on how much more serious a military challenge China poses than Russia. China has the clout and the will and the strategic logic to attempt to expand its umbrella over time (which it's already been doing), Russia doesn't.
    And their advantages over time are so massive, I can't begin to think how you deal with it short of abandoning Asia as a site of American power (which should be understood to be a credible option in the face of the odds), selling ourselves to India and cultivating them as an aggressive imperial alternative to China (pretty bullshit option), or advancing some kind of NWO (my favorite). But American power following the "America century" is certainly finished, as even that Pentagon report I referenced a year ago acknowledges. That's why the NWO option is the best available, in using America's remaining power to rebalance transnational governance and colligate ourselves to its articulated interest. (It's also the best way to handle the climate change set to dissolve our civilization in spite of all the typical petty jockeying between empires.)
    Last edited by Montmorency; 08-12-2018 at 05:34.
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    Coffee farmer extraordinaire Member spmetla's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does Germany Need the Bomb?

    The premise of Occupied doesn't make any sense at all but if say that were to happen in Latvia what would we do? I don't base my opinions off shows btw just like to use common and current cultural references.

    I'm no advocate of a buildup like we had in the 80s and of course we can't defend everything, but right now it looks like our allies could defend very little. As for US forces in Europe, I wouldn't want a return of 250K troops there, it'd be pointless but perhaps just putting back a full armored or mechanized division. The current stryker regiment and brigade of paratroopers in Italy combined with only a rotational armor presence is good for intervening in kosovo or something small but could do very little against modern armored or mechanized forces.

    I don't want us spending stupid on the military as it is now and I don't want our allies to waste excess on the military.

    If the perceived costs to Russia fall below the perceived benefits in occupying a Baltic state or any other, NATO can't fix that.
    If Russia was a functioning democracy sure but not in Putin's Russia. He can exploited perceived weakness on our part without the Duma having to debate the merits.

    All of this instead reflects on how much more serious a military challenge China poses than Russia. China has the clout and the will and the strategic logic to attempt to expand its umbrella over time (which it's already been doing), Russia doesn't.
    I agree wholeheartedly and Obama was right in his goal of a pivot to Asia but that doesn't mean Russia is not a threat.

    And their advantages over time are so massive, I can't begin to think how you deal with it short of abandoning Asia as a site of American power (which should be understood to be a credible option in the face of the odds), selling ourselves to India and cultivating them as an aggressive imperial alternative to China (pretty bullshit option), or advancing some kind of NWO (my favorite).
    Short of a NWO I actually liked the principle of Obama's pivot to Asia. The TPP would get us economic allies and the trade would build trust. In the interim a defense would focus on essentially surrounding China strategically with India, Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines, and Indonesia.

    I posted this because the idea of 'Germans consider nuclear weapons program' is amusing to me, for reasons you will intuitively understand I'm sure.
    I understand and didn't think this was a serious idea or decision, just a vigorous thought exercise. The idea of any current German politician pursuing an independent nuclear arsenal is certainly amusing. I just enjoy debating as if it were really an option on the table.
    Last edited by spmetla; 08-12-2018 at 07:58.

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    BrownWings: AirViceMarshall Member Furunculus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does Germany Need the Bomb?

    Quote Originally Posted by Husar View Post

    I'm not going to reply with expletives to what Furunculus posted, but he's wrong anyway and he forgot something very important as always, something that is only mentioned to display it in a negative light and forgotten when its positives apply.....
    what's the very important thing?
    Last edited by Furunculus; 08-12-2018 at 08:06.
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    Member Member Gilrandir's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does Germany Need the Bomb?

    Quote Originally Posted by Montmorency View Post
    A military buildup to the point of correcting this would be socially and economically ruinous, and require stationing hundreds of thousands of troops in place. These troops would also have to be extensively depoted and backed up with similar reserves in Eastern Europe since the Baltics would be instantly isolated by land regardless of their garrison. Meanwhile, Russia itself would be provoked into surging its own military budget, polarizing its politics and causing a more aggressive and risky posture than even now along its border in response to the astonishing and unprecedented new threat from the West.
    You speak as if Russia's budget (both military and otherwise) is limitless. Judging from pension age and income tax increases introduced in Russia recently its resources don't seem to match its appetites.
    Quote Originally Posted by Suraknar View Post
    The article exists for a reason yes, I did not write it...

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    Iron Fist Senior Member Husar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does Germany Need the Bomb?

    Quote Originally Posted by Furunculus View Post
    what's the very important thing?
    That the EU has more or less the same defence clause that NATO has.


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    BrownWings: AirViceMarshall Member Furunculus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does Germany Need the Bomb?

    The worth of collective defense can best be measured by the confidence of the most vulnerable members, and who do the baltic states look to?

    And have France made their deterrent a tool of the cdsp the way Britain has to nato?
    Furunculus Maneuver: Adopt a highly logical position on a controversial subject where you cannot disagree with the merits of the proposal, only disagree with an opinion based on fundamental values. - Beskar

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    Iron Fist Senior Member Husar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does Germany Need the Bomb?

    Quote Originally Posted by Furunculus View Post
    The worth of collective defense can best be measured by the confidence of the most vulnerable members, and who do the baltic states look to?

    And have France made their deterrent a tool of the cdsp the way Britain has to nato?
    The perception of countries/governments does not necessarily say much about reality. Otherwise Trump had the biggest inauguration crowd ever!

    As for France, not that i know, but they actually considered it: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/06/w...r-weapons.html

    The idea that France would just watch until Russian tanks cross the French border seems quite silly however. Just like Britain using its nuclear warheads the minute a Russian crosses into a Baltic country. The USA are not only important as an ally for their nuclear warheads, but their enormous conventional capability. Russia attacking the EU in any way would be an enormous event either way and seems very unlikely, no matter how hard they're trolling their neighbors. I don't see what they would gain other than sanctions, a military loss, or nuclear war.
    I want to see Trump sit between a Russia that encompasses all of Europe and a China that is strengthening its military.

    I see more danger in Russia trying to get all the far right movements elected, get the EU to break apart and then they can pick off some smaller countries if they can get the US to stay out using similar manipulation. They already managed to peel off the UK, congrats for that.

    I'm sure the PM of Montenegro felt very reassured by NATO when Trump pushed him aside and demanded more money. NATO was probably seen as more reliable before Trump showed up, but nowadays I'm not so sure...


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    Default Re: Does Germany Need the Bomb?

    Quote Originally Posted by spmetla View Post
    As for US forces in Europe, I wouldn't want a return of 250K troops there, it'd be pointless but perhaps just putting back a full armored or mechanized division. The current stryker regiment and brigade of paratroopers in Italy combined with only a rotational armor presence is good for intervening in kosovo or something small but could do very little against modern armored or mechanized forces.
    It could be on the table, this sort of thing. It's something within the space of policy debate at least. You could warn Putin that it's going to happen pursuant to some broader negotiations, if you know you can commit to the investment. Then you do it, when Putin doesn't respond favorably, and now you have another card to play, or take away in the give and take of negotiations. From there you can demonstrate good will and flexibility in a long game, and it could go toward defusing some of Putin's worse incentives without making permanent diplomatic or military decisions. All of this is potentially hypothetical, prior to taking politics into consideration. Regardless, the big picture is relations with Russia should not be oriented from a defense/military perspective because it has the least long-term relevance, and hammers don't work well with screws.

    If Russia was a functioning democracy sure but not in Putin's Russia. He can exploited perceived weakness on our part without the Duma having to debate the merits.
    Well, Putin still has a cost-benefit deliberation. The details may change based on the system of government, but the framework doesn't necessarily. A dictator may be a lunatic who wants to blow all his power at once in a blaze of glory, or he may be more paranoid and conservative. I think most dictators, as opposed to hereditary monarchs maybe, lean heavily toward the latter. The more interesting and dangerous quality is miscalculation. Saddam Hussein was no fool, but: he never expected to be mired in total war with Iran; he never expected the US to retaliate to the occupation of Kuwait with massive force; he never expected Bush II would be ambitious or foolish enough to depose him.

    A good practice to head off miscalculation and misinterpretation is clarity of purpose and communication.

    I agree wholeheartedly and Obama was right in his goal of a pivot to Asia but that doesn't mean Russia is not a threat.

    Short of a NWO I actually liked the principle of Obama's pivot to Asia. The TPP would get us economic allies and the trade would build trust. In the interim a defense would focus on essentially surrounding China strategically with India, Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines, and Indonesia.
    The Asia pivot and the TPP make good sense from the academic POV of strategic balancing and status quo conservation (see Obama Mid-East strategy), but they're intrinsically fragile bases for maintaining legacy American interests in a dynamic world. India, Japan, Australia...: without a dominant United States setting down lines and tone in the region, each would sell the others out to China if push came to shove. They have no special allegiance to one another, and variable resiliency and tolerances for risk from China. Trade ties alone are a mere hydrogen bond if China can take their place, this being one of the reasons the EU project has pursued the ideal of a unified "single economy" rather than a mere "free-trade" zone. China is very good at playing "divide and conquer". For example, to my knowledge the desire of ASEAN countries like Malaysia, Philippines, and Vietnam to resist Chinese trade pugnacity and territorial encroachment, and to put up a common front is much reduced from pre-Xi years.

    I understand and didn't think this was a serious idea or decision, just a vigorous thought exercise. The idea of any current German politician pursuing an independent nuclear arsenal is certainly amusing. I just enjoy debating as if it were really an option on the table.
    Did you interpret that preface as directed at you specifically? I occasionally post things directed toward the thread in general rather than at one person, and I wonder if I do so clearly enough.


    Quote Originally Posted by Gilrandir View Post
    You speak as if Russia's budget (both military and otherwise) is limitless. Judging from pension age and income tax increases introduced in Russia recently its resources don't seem to match its appetites.
    Absolutely. No one has unlimited money, patience, or public forbearance to increase military spending and troop numbers several times over, and if they did it would be one of those Very Bad Things. Everyone loses in the contest of 'who can outspend the other on tanks and missiles?' It is, in the words of President Eisenhower, humanity hanging from a cross of iron.
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    Ni dieu ni maître! Senior Member a completely inoffensive name's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does Germany Need the Bomb?

    @Monty

    The dynamics between East Asian countries and a rising China may not be so clear cut as subservience in the absence of American dominance.

    Pax America post-1992 is much more idealistic and emphasizes (ostensibly) a US presence to maintain pro-democratic countries (however dumb the resulting polices may be), and stable world markets.
    The Chinese are showing with their New Silk Road project and other foreign investments/movements that a new Pax Sinica would defer from this considerably. For one, it is obvious that democracy is anathema to Chinese hegemony as the choice of the public is less controllable than a bribed oligarchy/dictatorship. See the recent political revolution in Taiwan which was born out of a youth movement reacting against Taiwanese politicians selling the island's economy over to China. Secondly, we see how the Chinese can treat their transactions as solely for the purpose of furthering Chinese growth and wealth. I do not see China acting as a fair arbiter, whereas American idealism for the most part tames us from outright neo-colonialism and subjegation. Obviously the Chinese public have no qualms against the use of said foreign policy.

    My underlying point is that Chinese hegemony represents an existential threat to East Asian democratic governments and a clear threat to economic independence. The US in it's position has traditionally (with exception of Trump) been willing to sit at a table with those in its sphere of influence and fairly negotiate. Will China do the same if it becomes the new top dog?

    Our biggest weakness domestically is our biggest strength in foreign affairs.
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    Coffee farmer extraordinaire Member spmetla's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does Germany Need the Bomb?

    It could be on the table, this sort of thing. It's something within the space of policy debate at least. You could warn Putin that it's going to happen pursuant to some broader negotiations, if you know you can commit to the investment. Then you do it, when Putin doesn't respond favorably, and now you have another card to play, or take away in the give and take of negotiations. From there you can demonstrate good will and flexibility in a long game, and it could go toward defusing some of Putin's worse incentives without making permanent diplomatic or military decisions. All of this is potentially hypothetical, prior to taking politics into consideration. Regardless, the big picture is relations with Russia should not be oriented from a defense/military perspective because it has the least long-term relevance, and hammers don't work well with screws.
    Exactly, it's one of the reasons I though Obama 'weak' in response to the Crimean invasion. Instead of using it as a lever to reinvigorate collective European defense and gain bargaining chips by using the invasion as a reason to reverse the draw down in Germany and perhaps restart the ballistic missile defense plans in Eastern Europe. Not to mention it could have be used to show the vulnerability of Western Europe to Russian energy supplies and sell more US natural gas. The sanctions hurt Russia but having another 'frozen conflict' in Eastern Europe is fine for Russia but terrible for Ukraine. Crimea will remain Russian unless someone is willing to fight Russia for it and even I think that a terrible stupid idea when Ukraine scarcely tried to retain it.

    Well, Putin still has a cost-benefit deliberation.
    Of course, but we need to think what does he consider a benefit? It's surely not just economic or the sanctions would have worked. He has already made his mark on history by the rebirth of Russia's relevance in the world post USSR collapse. He has stopped the Eastward spread of NATO to countries like Georgia or Ukraine. He seemingly has a puppet or at least an admirer as the POTUS who is doing his apparent best to break up NATO and the EU. His moves haven't been good for the Russian economy but from the diplomatic and military views they have been beneficial to him.
    In the possible scenario that one day Russia tanks roll into Riga in order to protect Russian citizens from 'fascist nazi loving Latvians' what would NATO do? https://www.haaretz.com/world-news/e...tvia-1.5912476
    With the disorder in the West with Trump, Brexit and African and Muslim migrants crisis it is very possible that nothing is done. More sanctions, more fist shaking but the possibility that NATO would not go to war to defend one of its smallest allies if the threat is an actual world power and thereby be the end of NATO as a credible deterrence.

    Our biggest weakness domestically is our biggest strength in foreign affairs.
    Yet sadly so many of our citizens don't care about our foreign affairs which is why the pull of isolationism has a very good chance of winning out.
    Last edited by spmetla; 08-13-2018 at 08:54.

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    master of the pwniverse Member Fragony's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does Germany Need the Bomb?

    Domestic weakness as a strength is an interesting way of looking at things, not being sarcastic it reallly is

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    Member Member Gilrandir's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does Germany Need the Bomb?

    Quote Originally Posted by spmetla View Post
    Crimea will remain Russian unless someone is willing to fight Russia for it and even I think that a terrible stupid idea when Ukraine scarcely tried to retain it.
    It scarecely tried because it was unable to.
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    master of the pwniverse Member Fragony's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does Germany Need the Bomb?

    Kinda odd that 'we' are oblivious to it, no small thing.

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    Default Re: Does Germany Need the Bomb?

    @ACIN

    Yes, but how many skilled and brave and committed democrats are there in the ruling classes of military Myanmar, monarchic Thailand, Communist Vietnam, technocratic Singapore, Duterte's Philippines, and the like? Australia and Japan can hold out for a while, because they're big and rich and geographically insulated and have a strong history of democracy, but the rest?

    Taiwan is pretty democratic now, but it's also the single most vulnerable country in Asia to outright occupation and annexation by China. China can try to bully South Korea, buy Mongolia and Nepal, but the foremost candidate for the deployment of China's ballooning defense budget is Taiwan. Death by a thousand inches you know, and once it happens there's no more going back than there is restoring Crimea or 'removing Zionist'.

    Quote Originally Posted by spmetla View Post
    Exactly, it's one of the reasons I though Obama 'weak' in response to the Crimean invasion. Instead of using it as a lever to reinvigorate collective European defense and gain bargaining chips by using the invasion as a reason to reverse the draw down in Germany and perhaps restart the ballistic missile defense plans in Eastern Europe. Not to mention it could have be used to show the vulnerability of Western Europe to Russian energy supplies and sell more US natural gas. The sanctions hurt Russia but having another 'frozen conflict' in Eastern Europe is fine for Russia but terrible for Ukraine. Crimea will remain Russian unless someone is willing to fight Russia for it and even I think that a terrible stupid idea when Ukraine scarcely tried to retain it.


    Of course, but we need to think what does he consider a benefit? It's surely not just economic or the sanctions would have worked. He has already made his mark on history by the rebirth of Russia's relevance in the world post USSR collapse. He has stopped the Eastward spread of NATO to countries like Georgia or Ukraine. He seemingly has a puppet or at least an admirer as the POTUS who is doing his apparent best to break up NATO and the EU. His moves haven't been good for the Russian economy but from the diplomatic and military views they have been beneficial to him.
    In the possible scenario that one day Russia tanks roll into Riga in order to protect Russian citizens from 'fascist nazi loving Latvians' what would NATO do? https://www.haaretz.com/world-news/e...tvia-1.5912476
    With the disorder in the West with Trump, Brexit and African and Muslim migrants crisis it is very possible that nothing is done. More sanctions, more fist shaking but the possibility that NATO would not go to war to defend one of its smallest allies if the threat is an actual world power and thereby be the end of NATO as a credible deterrence.
    Sanctions alone rarely achieve the collapse of the target. Did Showtime post it in the Trump thread or did I see it elsewhere that sanctions accomplished their purpose less than a third of the time in the 20th century? They're better understood as a single tool to be used in conjunction with others, not a knockout blow. Sanctions have constrained Russia, but they probably can't force capitulation under any circumstances.

    It would be a mistake to think that because Putin is a dictator he has much more freedom to maneuver than an elected executive; the internal politics of Russia matter a lot. Don't try to pin foreign affairs on the ego of "great men", an ego that may or may not exist as the storybooks imagine it. His interest is in keeping the world open to Russian commodities and neutralizing the ability of competitors to maintain an active and adversarial foreign policy (e.g. through political disruption). And supporting a proxy in eastern Ukraine is certainly costly and inconvenient, Putin would prefer not to do this indefinitely. Ukrainian and Russian heavy industry and manufacturing, for example, are (were?) largely symbiotic following their shared Soviet lineage. Meanwhile, supporting ORDLO must be a serious drain. Russian intervention in eastern Ukraine is then slightly analogous to the Euro-American sanctions regime against Russia as a double-edged sword.

    Russian tanks in Riga: if it happens, it will be in order to fulfill a need - such as intense domestic pressure to invade (unlikely), or a gambit to deal a death blow to the American order/transatlantic alliance (many harmful knock-ons for Russia). Western decline would have to be much further along for such a thing to slip below risk thresholds, or something else dire, in which case we're in no position to be pondering military solutions anymore. And if all that is true, why would Russia even need to invade to impose its interests? There are so many interlocking elements here. Like everything I guess. In 2017 I made a mistake in underestimating the military intractability of the Korean theater. No matter how the cards have fallen or will fall, the cost of dramatic escalation is always too high for both sides unless the other is already playing for the endgame (I don't play cards).

    A more likely, evergreen scenario is one in which Putin cows, buys, or recruits a Baltic government such that they leave NATO, or otherwise become a Russian-aligned client like Belarus. How we might react to that is more worth ruminating than "Fulda Fucktards" 2.0.
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    Member Member Gilrandir's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does Germany Need the Bomb?

    Quote Originally Posted by Montmorency View Post

    And supporting a proxy in eastern Ukraine is certainly costly and inconvenient, Putin would prefer not to do this indefinitely. Ukrainian and Russian heavy industry and manufacturing, for example, are (were?) largely symbiotic following their shared Soviet lineage. Meanwhile, supporting ORDLO must be a serious drain.
    According to tentative estimates, Russia spends about 60-70 billion rubles on ORDLO annually. It is a drain, yet not so serious with current oil prices of 70$ a barrel.
    Quote Originally Posted by Suraknar View Post
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    Coffee farmer extraordinaire Member spmetla's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does Germany Need the Bomb?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gilrandir View Post
    It scarecely tried because it was unable to.
    I know it couldn't, it was such a surprise invasion and in a way no one expected that of course Ukraine couldn't fend it off, especially with the political turmoil it was in. Ukrainian officers switch sides, some bases were stormed by unarmed 'civilians' with armed paramilitaries following and then disarming the Ukrainian soldiers. The confusion created no real orders on what to do to low level leaders and then those leaders were affected by signals jamming making any unity of action difficult to say the least. It was a shocking take over which has caused many Eastern European nations with ethnic russians in their armed forces to look more into their loyalties, the issuing of holdout orders in places so that soldiers with no chain of command have at least some guiding principle.
    My point was more that such a 'fait accompli' invasion by a great power like Russia makes reversing such an action extremely difficult.

    Russian tanks in Riga: if it happens, it will be in order to fulfill a need - such as intense domestic pressure to invade (unlikely), or a gambit to deal a death blow to the American order/transatlantic alliance (many harmful knock-ons for Russia). Western decline would have to be much further along for such a thing to slip below risk thresholds, or something else dire, in which case we're in no position to be pondering military solutions anymore
    What if that need is simply to demonstrate NATO as an empty shell east of Poland? Russia didn't want to lose its Sevastapol naval base to NATO. In the Baltic it's only all season port that doesn't freeze in winter (less frequently now though thanks to global warming)is in Kaliningrad Oblast which is now a Russian 'island' in a sea of NATO. Getting the baltic states out of NATO and back into the Russia sphere through some sort of 'Finlandization' is probably a desired goal of Russia but who knows what the timeline is. If the conditions are 'right' then I imagine they'd implement such an action without waiting for domestic clamor for such an action. Also the acquisition of territory is generally far more permanent than any threat of sanctions which always water down over time.

    I agree that he would probably prefer to buy such a government but nothing would undo NATO so quickly and dramatically as rapid invasion of any of the Baltic States with only impotent responses from NATO. It's less of a Fulda Gap scenario and more like a Falklands War scenario, failure to act would essentially unravel what little remained of the British 'empire' (think Hong Kong in the 80s). I also agree the west would need to decline a bit more but looking at the Trump effect and the distractions of Brexit and migrant crises I personally think that decline is speeding along quite quickly.
    Our reaction if he essentially 'bought' a government would probably be pretty muted. I think Putin has bought Erdogan or at least got him on side. We've got sanctions on Turkey over a pastor, we are freezing their participation in the F-35 program because the Turks are buying Russian air defense systems, and Erdogan still says that the US tried to overthrow him through a coup and Fethullah Gulen somehow. Turkey is a vital nation to NATO and the US, I don't think we'd react more strongly in the case of Latvia, Estonia, or Lithuania which probably don't even register as countries to most Americans.
    If the Russia achieves recognition of its annexation of Crimea and some sort of semi-autonomous status for eastern Ukraine it would probably make the Baltic States that much more worried about Western Betrayal and create domestic upheaval which could produce very anti-Russia policies that might require ethnic Russians to be protected by the motherland.

    Guess I turn all threads into nato threads.....
    Last edited by spmetla; 08-14-2018 at 08:18.

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    Member Member Gilrandir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spmetla View Post
    I know it couldn't, it was such a surprise invasion and in a way no one expected that of course Ukraine couldn't fend it off, especially with the political turmoil it was in. Ukrainian officers switch sides, some bases were stormed by unarmed 'civilians' with armed paramilitaries following and then disarming the Ukrainian soldiers. The confusion created no real orders on what to do to low level leaders and then those leaders were affected by signals jamming making any unity of action difficult to say the least. It was a shocking take over which has caused many Eastern European nations with ethnic russians in their armed forces to look more into their loyalties, the issuing of holdout orders in places so that soldiers with no chain of command have at least some guiding principle.
    My point was more that such a 'fait accompli' invasion by a great power like Russia makes reversing such an action extremely difficult.
    You don't seem to know (or didn't mention) two main factors why Ukraine didn't put up a fight for Crimea and in Crimea.
    1. The state the army was in. Thanks to previous presidents (especially Yanukovych) the army was neglected and almost everything that was left after the demise of the USSR was sold out (if it was of any worth) or left to rot. The authorities just didn't see any sense in keeping and financing the army since there was ostensibly no one to fight against. Russia was NEVER deemed to ever become an enemy. The number of armed forces was also at a token level. All in all they say that when the annexation staretd Ukraine could filed around 5 000 soldiers who knew how to fight and had at least something passable to fight with.
    2. The principles of forming army units in the 2014 Ukraine. The majority of units billeted somewhere consisted of local inhabitants. Thus Crimean forces were 70-80% locals, most of whom had families and relatives living close by. Consequently, they were the easiest to sway towards Russia and became turncoats. Those who were eventually withdrawn to continental Ukaine and offered as least non-violent resistence were not locals.
    Quote Originally Posted by Suraknar View Post
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    Default Re: Does Germany Need the Bomb?

    Quote Originally Posted by spmetla View Post
    Our reaction if he essentially 'bought' a government would probably be pretty muted. I think Putin has bought Erdogan or at least got him on side. We've got sanctions on Turkey over a pastor, we are freezing their participation in the F-35 program because the Turks are buying Russian air defense systems, and Erdogan still says that the US tried to overthrow him through a coup and Fethullah Gulen somehow. Turkey is a vital nation to NATO and the US, I don't think we'd react more strongly in the case of Latvia, Estonia, or Lithuania which probably don't even register as countries to most Americans.
    If the Russia achieves recognition of its annexation of Crimea and some sort of semi-autonomous status for eastern Ukraine it would probably make the Baltic States that much more worried about Western Betrayal and create domestic upheaval which could produce very anti-Russia policies that might require ethnic Russians to be protected by the motherland.

    Guess I turn all threads into nato threads.....
    Like I was saying in the Turkey thread, if you view Turkey (Erdogan) as going its own way then it's not that Putin controls Erdogan or has bought him, but that for the moment they can be fellow-travelers in renegadism. Turkey's long-term goal could still be to expunge Russian and Iranian influence from the East Med and replace it with its own.
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    Ni dieu ni maître! Senior Member a completely inoffensive name's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does Germany Need the Bomb?

    Quote Originally Posted by Montmorency View Post
    @ACIN

    Yes, but how many skilled and brave and committed democrats are there in the ruling classes of military Myanmar, monarchic Thailand, Communist Vietnam, technocratic Singapore, Duterte's Philippines, and the like? Australia and Japan can hold out for a while, because they're big and rich and geographically insulated and have a strong history of democracy, but the rest?
    To really explore the validity of my general argument we would need to go in depth on each country as I feel the bigger point is achieved from a multitude of reasons unique to each country. The countries you mention are indeed non very democratic, but there is the economic independence that China would also wish to subvert. As a brief an unsatisfying glimpse into what I mean, let's talk about "Communist Vietnam" which we both know is as Communist as China is at this point. Are we really to expect that the Vietnamese people are going to give up the independence their grandparents and even parents fought for all through the mid-late 20th century? I mean, it was only 40 years ago that China attempted to invade Vietnam. This isn't ancient history here. There is a lot of bad blood between China and its east Asian neighbors.
    In all these papers we see a love of honest work, an aversion to shams, a caution in the enunciation of conclusions, a distrust of rash generalizations and speculations based on uncertain premises. He was never anxious to add one more guess on doubtful matters in the hope of hitting the truth, or what might pass as such for a time, but was always ready to take infinite pains in the most careful testing of every theory. With these qualities was united a modesty which forbade the pushing of his own claims and desired no reputation except the unsought tribute of competent judges.

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    Darkside Medic Senior Member rory_20_uk's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does Germany Need the Bomb?

    In the 18th and 19th Centuries, the Europeans created Empires as they'd pretty much always been created - you conquer a mass of land, impose your own structure on it and then try to get money out of it by building infrastructure to remove natural resources. This leads to resentment and dislike by pretty much everyone and as soon as the locals can they get their independence where they have the freedom to be oppressed by their own native warlord or despot who is often worse (although being worse than the Belgians in the Congo would be nigh on impossible).

    China has realised that there's a much better way - you go to the country and give them massive loans for the projects you help them build with your expertise. To pay off the loans you use the infrastructure you've just built to take away the natural resources. In this model, the locals might not even know it has happened and live in a fantasy world where they remain an independent state, as the nice shiny goods trains ship raw resources to the new port back to China.

    America is currently having an isolationist policy rather than a pro-Asia one. The Europeans are generally incapable of doing anything quickly - and certainly not without many strings attached. So realistically who else but China has the money for all these new projects? Yes, the rhetoric might remain but that's about it.

    An enemy that wishes to die for their country is the best sort to face - you both have the same aim in mind.
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