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Thread: Great Power contentions

  1. #571

    Default Re: Great Power contentions

    Turkey and Azerbaijan seem unsatisfied with anything short of the total conquest of Armenia, so Pashinyan has invoked Article 4 (ha. ha. ha) of the CSTO and put Putin in a hard place. Honestly I would have Biden advise the Armenian government that as long as they unofficially abandon any plans of ever relieving NK, NATO forces will tutor tens of thousands of their professional personnel in combined arms defense and irregular warfare.


    Ukrainian air assault in Kharkiv (could just be transport?) [VIDEO]


    As war began, Putin rejected a Ukraine peace deal recommended by aide
    Vladimir Putin's chief envoy on Ukraine told the Russian leader as the war began that he had struck a provisional deal with Kyiv that would satisfy Russia's demand that Ukraine stay out of NATO, but Putin rejected it and pressed ahead with his military campaign, according to three people close to the Russian leadership.

    The Ukrainian-born envoy, Dmitry Kozak, told Putin that he believed the deal he had hammered out removed the need for Russia to pursue a large-scale occupation of Ukraine, according to these sources. Kozak's recommendation to Putin to adopt the deal is being reported by Reuters for the first time.

    Putin had repeatedly asserted prior to the war that NATO and its military infrastructure were creeping closer to Russia's borders by accepting new members from eastern Europe, and that the alliance was now preparing to bring Ukraine into its orbit too. Putin publicly said that represented an existential threat to Russia, forcing him to react.

    But, despite earlier backing the negotiations, Putin made it clear when presented with Kozak's deal that the concessions negotiated by his aide did not go far enough and that he had expanded his objectives to include annexing swathes of Ukrainian territory, the sources said. The upshot: the deal was dropped.
    Quote Originally Posted by Montmorency 2/14 View Post
    I don't know, maybe, but it's hard for me to see what Putin can spin as a win if he cuts bait now. An American/EU promise to veto Ukrainian NATO/EU hopes in exchange for observable demobilization in the east (Crimea is a lost cause) is certainly a compromise that I hope our governments have sounded out for what it's worth. But if it were that simple wouldn't the deal have been finalized and publicized long ago? If he just returns troops home following the conclusion to the scheduled exercise with Belarus, what exactly does he tell the public in closing?
    Well understood by those without partisan interest in lying or playing the fool.




    Very quick check (not differentiating between fronts, but likely >90% from Kharkiv): In the week+ 9/6 through 9/13, Oryx recorded roughly 110 tank and 210 AFV* losses by Russia. This includes probably 50 T-72B3 variants (post-Cold War), the pre-war skeleton of the VSRF tank force making up at least 50% of all active service tanks. And remember, the Kharkiv front was arguably Russia's lowest priority for armor deployments given the distribution of forces (other than the 1st Guards Tank Army remnants). The critical piece confirming the semi-organized nature of the abandonment of the Izyum bridgehead is that whole depots stocked with tanks in various states of repair have been found scattered throughout the liberated territory, yet SPGs come in dribs and drabs. If we're speaking of all barrel artillery, my very rough assessment of the force composition of Russians in Kharkiv is that there should be about as many tanks as cannons - yet the documented losses of the former far exceed those of the latter. Perhaps even more telling is that zero Russian SAM systems have been recovered in Kharkiv. Russians really prioritized saving their artillery and air defense (pending the documentation of some prodigious cache). Nevertheless, there's at least another few hundred AFVs and tanks remaining to be logged from Kharkiv.

    If it comes down to human waves of Russian conscripts with AK47s backed by North Korean shells, Ukraine can still retain the balance of power.


    *I categorize all APC, IFV, and IMV as AFV
    Last edited by Montmorency; 09-15-2022 at 02:01. Reason: Typos
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  2. #572
    Coffee farmer extraordinaire Member spmetla's Avatar
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    Default Re: Great Power contentions

    Guess all the countries in the former Soviet Union are seeing the writing on the wall regarding this current incarnation of Russia and off to do their own things. Beside the Azeris attacking Armenia there's all this:

    China to support Kazakhstan in defending independence, sovereignty
    https://tass.com/world/1507313
    China?s leader Xi Jinping said that his country will resolutely support Kazakhstan in defending its independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity during a meeting with his Kazakh counterpart Kassym-Jomart Tokayev in Nur-Sultan, the Kazakh president's press service reported on Wednesday.
    Guess the Kazakhs have found their new friends. Guess in China's view their partnership without limits meant more no limits on how much to infringe on the other partner's 'turf.'

    Two reported killed in clashes between Kyrgyz and Tajik border guards
    https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-p...ds-2022-09-14/
    Kyrgyz and Tajik border guards exchanged fire in three separate incidents in a border dispute on Wednesday, killing at least two people, officials on both sides said.

    The clashes came on the eve of a regional security summit, and a day after new fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan raised fears of instability spreading to other parts of the former Soviet Union while Russian forces fight in Ukraine.

    Kyrgyz border guards accused the Tajiks of having taken positions at a part of the border that has not been demarcated. The Tajik side said Kyrgyz guards had opened fire on a Tajik outpost without any provocation.

    Clashes at the border occur regularly, and last year almost triggered an all-out war between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, both allies of Russia that host Russian military bases.
    With Afghanistan in Taliban hands it'd be nice if the rest of the region could keep it together. Hope this isn't escalated as Russia is in no position mediate as it did last year.

    I know the rumor mill has also got stuff about Georgia eying up South Ossetia and Abkhazia again though that'd be a real dumb move unless Russia really collapses though it was equally dumb last time too. Georgia certainly hasn't been preparing so it'd probably go worse than last time despite Russia's current problems.

    A new Great Game in Central Asia but more a balance of Turkey and India (not united together but generally against China) versus China vying for new influence as Russia's decline continues. Think the US/EU role will really be more investments to try and limit China's influence from the New Silk Road project as neither are really positioned to do more.

    Armenia trying to invoke Article 4 of the CSTO with no response from Russia will certainly be the nail in the coffin for that agreement as Russia is the only member with the means to help Armenia.
    Last edited by spmetla; 09-16-2022 at 03:44.

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    Stage four, we say maybe there was something we could have done, but it's too late now.

  3. #573

    Default Re: Great Power contentions

    Would be a hell of a thing to have three conventional wars raging all at once in the post-Soviet space. Consequences of Russian instability. If we have a full war between Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, I also wouldn't be surprised to see Uzbekistan opportunistically join in over Ferghana claims. And then the Taliban decide on a quick foreign adventure and China exerts a police action to clean up the mess huehuehue.

    Contemporary relationship between Armenia and Azerbaijan from 1:27:



    The Armenian nationalists really should have used the leverage from their own bout of ethnic cleansing in the 1990s to secure autonomy for NK within Azerbaijan. Now it's far too late and the long-term security of the Armenian state itself is in question. The nationalists still don't seem to recognize this however.

    Quote Originally Posted by spmetla View Post
    Guess the Kazakhs have found their new friends. Guess in China's view their partnership without limits meant more no limits on how much to infringe on the other partner's 'turf.'
    It has been pointed out that Kazakhstan has been a member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization since 1996 (as has Russia), and Chinese leadership has been reiterating its stance on the "independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity" of its neighbors for decades. The drift of Kazakhstan toward China's orbit should be expected to be gradual. All the same, the quoted phrase does carry special significance in the context of - now. Not "during-the-Ukraine-War"-now but "at-this-very-moment"-now, during the annual SCO conference, with Russia floundering, the CSTO a dead letter, and violence flaring in the Caucasus and Central Asia.

    A new Great Game in Central Asia but more a balance of Turkey and India
    Iran and India, you mean? Pakistan complicates thing as well.
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  4. #574

    Default Re: Great Power contentions

    History of the Soviet borders/maps of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan if you're interested.
    Last edited by Montmorency; 09-17-2022 at 02:53.
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  5. #575

    Default Re: Great Power contentions

    To reinforce my comments on the smaller relative increases in capability between tank generations and airfighter generations (Slovenia to supply 28 M-55S tanks to Ukraine):

    T-55S thread for those shocked that this is being sent. Ok 1st and foremost these tanks were updated by a Slovenian Company STo Ravne and engineers from Israeli ELBIT. This was a complete overhaul from new engines and transmissions increasing HP from 500 to 600HP in a tank …
    2/n that isn’t very heavy to begin with appx 36 tons. The main gun is now a L7 105mm NATO standard with a thermal sleeve. A new breech is designed to speed firing having been developed by ELBIT.
    The hull armor is greatly improved using Israeli Rafael ERA blocks that are …
    3/n backed by composite armor of ELBIT design. Completely modern optics and thermal sights. Digital ballistic fire control computer with the gunner having a 2 axis stabilized sight with rangefinder. The commander cupola has the ability to lay and fire the gun independently…
    4/n of the gunner if need be. The driver also has state of the art optics. Here’s the cool part. These tanks are equipped with laser illumination warning system. ie if it’s being targeted by a ATGM or enemy tank that uses laser guidance it warns the crew and can independently…
    5/n fire smoke grenades to allow the tank to maneuver out of hostile weapons sight. All crew comms have been upgraded to allow clear communication. The tank tracks are completely new and have rubber blocks to facilitate road travel. So what does this all mean for the crews ..
    6/n getting these tanks? Well they can engage T-72 on a pretty much equal playing field but most importantly the optics and gun stabilization guarantee that their 1st will be much more accurate. The 105mm L7 can do in a T-72 & I know this from 1st hand experience. Any APFSDS..
    7/b developed after 1985 will send that turret into orbit. Lately the Belgium company MECAR and Israeli IMI have developed rounds that Slovenia uses that match 120mm kinetics. So these upgraded T-55s are better than anything the Ukrs are fielding except for their t-84s and the…
    8/b Polish PT-91 Twardys. Sometimes it’s good to get into the details.
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  6. #576
    Coffee farmer extraordinaire Member spmetla's Avatar
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    Default Re: Great Power contentions

    If you're at the receiving end of an old tank's main gun you don't care how dated it is unless you're in a tank that can take the hits, everything else on the battlefield remains vulnerable. With the Russians fielding T62s, that's only one generation after these T55s, both are modernized so at least not total relics and against each other both are capable of knocking out the other.

    If nothing else it frees up other tanks from lower priority areas such as along Moldova and Belarus. All the more reason for Germany to send those Leo1s and Marders, though I saw that they're sending 50x Dingo APCs and 4 more PzH2000s so that's something at least.

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  7. #577

    Default Re: Great Power contentions



    Reviewing the list of upgrades again, it presents a real Ship of Theseus riddle. If the engine, transmission, armor, tracks, and cannon are all new, then what exactly remains of the original platform?



    Kazakhstan's capital's name has been changed back to Astana. Tokaev has a Politico op-ed in which he claims to seek a more open, liberal, and democratic future for Kazakhstan with an empowered and accountable parliament.

    Russia now seems likely to attempt to escalate the war effort and annex Ukrainian territories in the next two weeks. Scour the news.

    Poll of "64 leading experts on the People’s Republic of China (PRC), Taiwan, and cross-Strait relations." Some results at face value:

    *War this decade unlikely, possibly toward or after the mid-century
    *Blockade could be a coercive tactic for the CCP
    *Xi prioritizes non-kinetic methods toward unification
    *China would choose to invade if Taiwan declared independence
    *China would provoke a crisis with its reaction to the US making an explicit commitment to defend Taiwan (do Biden's multiple statements this year count?)
    *Experts unanimously believe that Chinese leadership believes the US would join a war on Taiwan's side to some extent

    (Note that there was a recent official statement from the CIA that claims Xi wants a Taiwan Strait invasion plan to be a feasible option by 2027)

    He has not made the decision to do that, but he has asked his military to put him in a position where if that's what he wanted to do, he would be able to. It's still the assessment of the IC as a whole that Xi's interest in Taiwan is to get control through non-military means
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  8. #578

    Default Re: Great Power contentions

    The Kremlin’s annexation plans are primarily targeting a domestic audience; Putin likely hopes to improve Russian force generation capabilities by calling on the Russian people to volunteer for a war to “defend” newly claimed Russian territory. Putin and his advisors have apparently realized that current Russian forces are insufficient to conquer Ukraine and that efforts to build large forces quickly through voluntary mobilization are culminating short of the Russian military’s force requirements. Putin is therefore likely setting legal and informational conditions to improve Russian force generation without resorting to expanded conscription by changing the balance of carrots and sticks the Kremlin has been using to spur voluntary recruitment.

    Putin may believe that he can appeal to Russian ethnonationalism and the defense of purportedly “Russian peoples” and claimed Russian land to generate additional volunteer forces. He may seek to rely on enhanced rhetoric in part because the Kremlin cannot afford the service incentives, like bonuses and employment benefits, that it has already promised Russian recruits.[2] But Putin is also adding new and harsher punishments in an effort to contain the risk of the collapse of Russian military units fighting in Ukraine and draft-dodging within Russia. The Kremlin rushed the passage of a new law through the State Duma on September 20, circumventing normal parliamentary procedures.[3] This law codifies dramatically increased penalties for desertion, refusing conscription orders, and insubordination. It also criminalizes voluntary surrender and makes surrender a crime punishable by ten years in prison. The law notably does not order full-scale mobilization or broader conscription or make any preparations for such activities.

    ISW has observed no evidence that the Kremlin is imminently intending to change its conscription practices. The Kremlin’s new law is about strengthening the Kremlin’s coercive volunteerism, or what Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov called “self-mobilization.”[4]

    The Kremlin is taking steps to directly increase force generation through continued voluntary self-mobilization and an expansion of its legal authority to deploy Russian conscripts already with the force to fight in Ukraine.
    Big oof from ISW yesterday. It's funny that so many Twitter handles were reporting sources or other indications of mobilization concurrently. But really ISW's assessment that annexation is intended to boost patriotism just contains a logical flaw, or oversight; naturalizing Donbass would give Donbassian conscripts rights. It's the opposite of stop-loss. It's why I've long maintained that Russia would never annex territories unless it was close either to "winning" or to losing.

    Unfortunately ISW has always put its resources into collating Russian and Ukrainian statements for its war chronicle, with curation filling most of the space, whereas its in-house analysis has often ranged from trivial (e.g. 'there will continue to be battles for X town in the coming days') to flat wrong (e.g. early war Russian strategy and pacing).
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  9. #579

    Default Re: Great Power contentions

    Quote Originally Posted by Exactly 9 years ago
    The Kremlin has warned Ukraine that if the country goes ahead with a planned agreement on free trade with the EU, it faces inevitable financial catastrophe and possibly the collapse of the state.

    Russia is making a last-minute push to derail the integration agreement, which is due to be signed in late November. Instead, Moscow wants to lure its neighbour into its own alliance, a customs union with Belarus and Kazakhstan that critics have referred to as a reincarnation of the Soviet Union. Russia has made it clear that Ukraine has to choose between the two options and cannot sign both agreements.
    Petro Poroshenko, Ukraine's former trade minister, gave Sergei Glazyev, adviser to President Vladimir Putin, a public dressing down in a discussion session during which the Kremlin man was faced with jeering and catcalls for demanding that Ukraine abandon the EU pact and turn to Russia. The minister said that it was the Kremlin's heavy-handed tactics and threats of a trade war that had made European integration inevitable.

    "For the first time in our history more than 50% of people support European integration, and less than 30% of the people support closer ties with Russia," said Poroshenko. "Thank you very much for that Mr Glazyev."

    Radek Sikorski, the Polish foreign minister, accused Russia of a "19th-century mode of operating towards neighbours", and said that it was only when Ukraine was properly allied with Europe that Russia would begin to respect the country. "Poland's relations with Russia are better now that we are a member of the EU and Nato," said Sikorski. "When the question is open people feel entitled to exert pressure; when the question is closed they have to live with a sovereign country."

    Glazyev, speaking on the sidelines of the discussion, said the exact opposite was true: "Ukrainian authorities make a huge mistake if they think that the Russian reaction will become neutral in a few years from now. This will not happen."

    Instead, he said, signing the agreement would make the default of Ukraine inevitable and Moscow would not offer any helping hand. "Russia is the main creditor of Ukraine. Only with customs union with Russia can Ukraine balance its trade," he said. Russia has already slapped import restrictions on certain Ukrainian products and Glazyev did not rule out further sanctions if the agreement was signed.

    The Kremlin aide added that the political and social cost of EU integration could also be high, and allowed for the possibility of separatist movements springing up in the Russian-speaking east and south of Ukraine. He suggested that if Ukraine signed the agreement, Russia would consider the bilateral treaty that delineates the countries' borders to be void.

    "We don't want to use any kind of blackmail. This is a question for the Ukrainian people," said Glazyev. "But legally, signing this agreement about association with EU, the Ukrainian government violates the treaty on strategic partnership and friendship with Russia." When this happened, he said, Russia could no longer guarantee Ukraine's status as a state and could possibly intervene if pro-Russian regions of the country appealed directly to Moscow.
    I mean, I'm old enough to remember back in 2013 when realists and Russophiles alike would openly admit that Russia's paramount priority was to maintain political and economic domination of Ukraine, and those were the facts of life (though I didn't realize the Russian government literally said the quiet part out loud). It's just no one thought Russia would prove too weak to finish the job, in 2014.

    So weakness was helpfully retconned as strength or savvy, then as entitlement, then as a matter of (someone's!) self-determination. By now the first and only resort is the plain and plaintive, 'Let me win or I nuke you!'

    Many of us memory-holed calculated lies out of deference to discursive coexistence. Lies aren't just a gentleman's game, they're a matter of power. Don't disempower yourself by respecting and tolerating liars in your interactions, domestic or foreign.
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  10. #580

    Default Re: Great Power contentions

    Meanwhile in Iran...



    Wooooo!!!

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  11. #581
    Coffee farmer extraordinaire Member spmetla's Avatar
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    Default Re: Great Power contentions

    I wish the protesters in Iran the best of luck. Unfortunately they've had moments like this several times over the last twenty some years but perhaps this will be more successful though I imagine this is primarily a movement in major cities with not so much support in the more conservative countryside.

    As for Russian mobilization, it will be interesting to see how Russia approaches this. That's a lot of personnel to need to train, equip, and support. With the current force in Ukraine already using up the lion's share of modern equipment and already down to 2nd tier stuff in some areas I wonder what the the recruits will be given.

    This I think will be paired with the referendums to annex the occupied parts of Ukraine after which they will be "Russian" territory and by Russia's standards legal for employing conscripts, at least I think that's how it can work.
    If Russia's battlefield performance continues to be as lackluster and poor even with the influx of new personnel (and who knows on what timeline and quality of training) this may further galvanize dissatisfaction with the prosecution of the war and perhaps Putin himself. I don't think this will lead to any threat to the regime just yet as it looks like the majority of heavy conscriptions are being done outside the urban West of Russia with a focus on Russia's minorities.

    I personally don't think we'll see the effects of these recruits for a few weeks but I imagine that from fall into winter the manpower advantage of Ukraine will be offset. With that, the Ukraine will need to achieve some more significant victories before winter and then somehow get a decisive qualitative advantage in training and equipment on certain fronts by the spring. I hope that the western dithering over more modern tanks and IFVs can come to an end with much more support for Ukraine in these categories.

    Fingers crossed the Ukraine can retake Kherson sometime soon and create another local victory like a few weeks somewhere in the East or South East too.

    "Am I not destroying my enemies when I make friends of them?"
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    Four stage strategy from Yes, Minister:
    Stage one we say nothing is going to happen.
    Stage two, we say something may be about to happen, but we should do nothing about it.
    Stage three, we say that maybe we should do something about it, but there's nothing we can do.
    Stage four, we say maybe there was something we could have done, but it's too late now.

  12. #582

    Default Re: Great Power contentions

    On paper, the most accessible draftees for Russia would be:

    1. Conscripts who served out their terms by the past April (April '21 cadre)
    2. Conscripts who finish their terms in a week (October '21 cadre)
    3. Contractors who finished or cancelled their contracts during the war

    These alone would fill out a nominal 300K cap 50-90% of the way, depending on assumptions.

    Since like with many governmental functions in Russia, mobilization is highly devolved to the regions, and the federal government has a poor ability to identify individuals who are not available at their last updated address, the Russian government will have an overall difficult time identifying the best prospects for drafting, but the above categories should in principle be easy to work with because all addresses are current as of sometime in 2022.

    OTOH there have been lots of anecdotal reports over the past two days that Russia is executing - in contravention of reported guidelines - a randomized, haphazard draft drawing in everyone from industrial workers to students. If this is the case systematically - and we can only hope so - then Russia will have embarked on the most alienating and least effective variant of conscription, no less since the 2-week training course is presented as a refresher for "fully" trained veterans.


    I don't understand why NATO countries haven't been training literally all non-militia Ukrainian military personnel for the past 6 months, however. Or alternatively, offered 20 brigades' worth of Ukrainian civilian volunteers a full basic and advanced course in infantry and combined arms warfare, maturing as of now, to be disposed as needed. Big L for NATO. 'Free trial' sessions for groups of thousands in such a long timeframe, as has been the case, is a significant missed opportunity. It's not like NATO troops throughout Europe, including American ones, were so busy or otherwise preoccupied.


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    EDIT: A day ago the thought struck me that part of the motivation for mobilization may have been the instability flaring in the Caucasus and Central Asia a week ago, in that Putin saw a need to regenerate some Russian expeditionary capacity with which to intimidate Tajikistan and Azerbaijan, so to speak. The Russian political analyst Atomic Cherry just offered a broader, geopolitical, account:

    Mobilization is a response to the refusal of further support for Moscow from China, India, Turkey and the monarchies of the Middle East. An attempt to resolve the growing international crisis, loss of weight in the political arena and growing economic isolation by moving to a new round of conflict escalation.
    Last edited by Montmorency; 09-24-2022 at 07:53.
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  13. #583
    Coffee farmer extraordinaire Member spmetla's Avatar
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    Default Re: Great Power contentions

    Mobilization is a response to the refusal of further support for Moscow from China, India, Turkey and the monarchies of the Middle East. An attempt to resolve the growing international crisis, loss of weight in the political arena and growing economic isolation by moving to a new round of conflict escalation.
    It is possible but I see it really as Putin is trying to find a way to end the war on his terms and extract a believable 'win' for domestic consumption and more importantly his own life. The retirement prospects for dictators that lose wars is never long if they even make it to the end of the war. Mobilization is unpopular and may be the end of him but continuing the war with his current manpower pool will certainly result in a loss so he must mobilize, though to what extent and how effective it will be remain to be seen.

    I do think Russia certainly sees itself as more isolated and undoubtedly Putin is upset by the war not going as he wanted, the unexpected unity of the west and the apparently surprising lack of unity by his allies.

    This lengthening war is certainly causing the west to de-couple Russia economically and with China continuing its saber rattling over Taiwan I imagine that investment there will be discouraged from the top down though probably not overtly for now.

    I don't understand why NATO countries haven't been training literally all non-militia Ukrainian military personnel for the past 6 months, however. Or alternatively, offered 20 brigades' worth of Ukrainian civilian volunteers a full basic and advanced course in infantry and combined arms warfare, maturing as of now, to be disposed as needed. Big L for NATO. 'Free trial' sessions for groups of thousands in such a long timeframe, as has been the case, is a significant missed opportunity. It's not like NATO troops throughout Europe, including American ones, were so busy or otherwise preoccupied.
    Whole heartedly agree. Once Russia retreated from Kiev and it became clear that Ukraine has a possibility to win NATO, but the US especially, should have gone whole hog on supporting Ukraine. The debate about escalation over MiG-29s a few months ago seems silly now but understandably it did take a while for decision makers throughout the West to feel comfortable that support for Ukraine is not likely to escalate to general war with Russia or any sort of nuclear war.

    Some of the NATO troops in Europe though I'd say are busy, Russia still does need to be deterred, especially to prevent any adventures into Finland or Sweden once they announced their intentions to join NATO. Same on the Black Sea coast, Romania has legitimate security concerns that its partners need to help with.
    Still more than enough capability to help Ukraine though.
    Last edited by spmetla; 09-24-2022 at 08:32.

    "Am I not destroying my enemies when I make friends of them?"
    -Abraham Lincoln


    Four stage strategy from Yes, Minister:
    Stage one we say nothing is going to happen.
    Stage two, we say something may be about to happen, but we should do nothing about it.
    Stage three, we say that maybe we should do something about it, but there's nothing we can do.
    Stage four, we say maybe there was something we could have done, but it's too late now.

  14. #584
    BrownWings: AirViceMarshall Senior Member Furunculus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Great Power contentions

    Quote Originally Posted by Montmorency View Post
    I don't understand why NATO countries haven't been training literally all non-militia Ukrainian military personnel for the past 6 months, however. Or alternatively, offered 20 brigades' worth of Ukrainian civilian volunteers a full basic and advanced course in infantry and combined arms warfare, maturing as of now, to be disposed as needed. Big L for NATO.
    It is a shame that training wasn't expanded, by a greater number of nations, sooner, but the british army has been at it since 2014 on a pretty industrial scale:

    Provided training to over 22,000 Ukrainian military personnel before it was suspended ahead of the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Orbital

    BoJo offered Ukraine a new training programme located within the UK, with the aim of training up to 10,000 Ukrainians every 120 days:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Interflex
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  15. #585

    Default Re: Great Power contentions

    Quote Originally Posted by Furunculus View Post
    It is a shame that training wasn't expanded, by a greater number of nations, sooner, but the british army has been at it since 2014 on a pretty industrial scale:

    Provided training to over 22,000 Ukrainian military personnel before it was suspended ahead of the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Orbital

    BoJo offered Ukraine a new training programme located within the UK, with the aim of training up to 10,000 Ukrainians every 120 days:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Interflex
    As always, any leadership on the issue by the British is appreciated, but still rather limp.

    If I wasn't clear in my comment, the '30-day free trial NATO membership' courses don't and haven't sufficed. Properly: Since April, on German and Polish bases, many tens of thousands of civilians (inc. from refugee populations) ought to have been recruited, transported to NATO and local military bases, and provided a full professional training course in mass combined arms warfare. Especially officer candidates. These trainees ought to have been coming into service only just now, as a block. And no, NATO/Euro soldiers were not so preoccupied as to be prevented from undertaking this training operation, and doing so would not have fatally injured their readiness to an attack by - Belarus?

    If I'm being harsh, it's only because NATO still hasn't offered that level of commitment, even with the Russian draft setting an admissive environment.
    Last edited by Montmorency; 09-24-2022 at 19:28.
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  16. #586

    Default Re: Great Power contentions

    DRM Journal's Iranian protest map:




    Unsurprising.
    Vitiate Man.

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  17. #587

    Default Re: Great Power contentions






    It seems that even Russian men who are over 40 are being forcefully conscripted according to him:

    Wooooo!!!

  18. #588

    Default Re: Great Power contentions



    Wooooo!!!

  19. #589
    Backordered Member CrossLOPER's Avatar
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    Default Re: Great Power contentions

    Looks like things are going great.

    At the very least, governments can finally sever foreign dependencies on critical infrastructure like energy. I never understood that particular aspect of globalism, since it it creates massive security issue, especially for a country that does not possess diplomatic or military leverage, or even infrastructure for reserves.
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  20. #590
    Coffee farmer extraordinaire Member spmetla's Avatar
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    Default Re: Great Power contentions

    Think there was a lot of naivete in thinking that a large scale war in Europe was impossible after the end of the Cold War. That together with thinking that economic ties with illiberal governments might reform them instead of what we've see of it really just enabling the top to entrench themselves.
    Last edited by spmetla; 10-01-2022 at 01:31.

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    Stage two, we say something may be about to happen, but we should do nothing about it.
    Stage three, we say that maybe we should do something about it, but there's nothing we can do.
    Stage four, we say maybe there was something we could have done, but it's too late now.

  21. #591
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    Default Re: Great Power contentions

    It was impossible until people ceased paying attention and doing their work for 20+ years. It is incredible that nearly a quarter of a century of diplomatic posturing and economic architecture was based off of "everything is fine and will never go wrong ever again".
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