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  1. #81
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Atlanta, GA
    Quote Originally Posted by mph View Post
    I have a hard time seeing Putin invading a NATO member, in large part because I agree with those saying Putin is a rational actor. To the degree it was possible, he's been sanction-proofing the Russian economy since he annexed Crimea in 2014. He also knows that neither America nor any European ally cares about Ukraine enough to risk military confrontation with Russia. I can't recall a single American politician, now or in the past, declaring Ukraine a vital strategic interest. It's much riskier for Putin to make the calculation that we will ignore our Article 5 obligation to protect NATO members.

    I also don't see compelling evidence for the view that Putin is trying to reconstitute the USSR. It's not a realistic outcome and its not a required outcome if his goal is to let the West know the Russia will not be treated like a second-rate power. I'm not going to pretend to know how this ends, but one realistic scenario involves Russia annexing the Donbas region, installing a compliant leader in Kyiv, and declaring victory. The show of force would likely be enough to end Western discussions of another round of NATO expansion and Putin gets to domestically sell himself as the guy who stopped the West from bullying Russia. That's a lot more plausible than Russia rolling tanks into the Baltics, Poland, Hungary, or Romania.

    Having said all of that, there are still a lot of ways this invasion could spin out of control. Would love to hear other's thoughts, but I don't see a better option than our current strategy--sanction Russia to impose our available non-military consequences and increase readiness on NATO's eastern flank.
    I think you're more or less right on target here. I agree that the most likely outcome is a seizure of additional Ukrainian territory in the east, plus a compliant regime installed in Kyiv. But I also agree that this whole thing is quite precarious and there are a number of perfectly plausible scenarios that turn out much worse than "just" Ukraine's loss of land and sovereignty (with "just" in quotation marks because I think it's important for us to acknowledge the privilege inherent in regarding that as a mild, sigh-of-relief result).

    Quote Originally Posted by mph View Post
    At a minimum, we would see cyberattacks from Russia the likes of which we have never seen. Imagine the chaos of the Colonial Pipeline but with our water supply, electrical grid, and banking system. I haven't seen anything that makes me confident our cyber defenses are up to the challenge.
    Agreed here too. There are cyber-attacks coming (honestly, probably already underway) no matter what, with their duration and severity dependent on Western actions in the coming days/weeks.

  2. #82
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Vermont
    Quote Originally Posted by mph View Post
    At a minimum, we would see cyberattacks from Russia the likes of which we have never seen. Imagine the chaos of the Colonial Pipeline but with our water supply, electrical grid, and banking system. I haven't seen anything that makes me confident our cyber defenses are up to the challenge.
    yep. The people on TV fretting about gas prices don't seem to understand this very real possibility. If we cause Russia pain, they'll try to cause us pain. Just last summer some of his lesser minions wiped out out local hospital's entire computer system, and it wasn't pretty. We have all kinds of targets the Russian can take a shot at, and I fear they will.

  3. #83
    Quote Originally Posted by CameronBornAndBred View Post
    During his press conference today, Biden was peppered with questions regarding kicking Russia out of SWIFT. I really had no idea what this was, and why it was such a big deal. Apparently it's a very big deal, so much so that if it were to happen, Putin has signaled that he will take it as an act of war level aggression.

    I found this article helpful in getting me on board with understanding what it is and what's at stake.

    https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/s...ssia-rcna17533
    Exactly. The one nation that was resisting this effort was Germany. I mentioned earlier (in a post now memory-holed) how Russia had achieved leverage against the EU through critical energy supplies that they control which are no longer coming from certain other sources.

  4. #84
    Quote Originally Posted by CameronBornAndBred View Post
    During his press conference today, Biden was peppered with questions regarding kicking Russia out of SWIFT. I really had no idea what this was, and why it was such a big deal. Apparently it's a very big deal, so much so that if it were to happen, Putin has signaled that he will take it as an act of war level aggression.

    I found this article helpful in getting me on board with understanding what it is and what's at stake.

    https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/s...ssia-rcna17533
    At the end of the day, the only meaningful actions we will take against Russia will be absolutely nothing.

    I'd be shocked if we kicked Russia out of SWIFT. It should happen, but won't.

  5. #85
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Outside Philly
    Itís affected my current work duties, thatís for sure.

  6. #86
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Franklin TN
    Its my understanding we had a treaty with Ukraine guaranteeing its independence when it gave up its nukes. I believe the old Soviet Union also gave the same guarantee. So the USSR is defunct, but why didnít we uphold our end of the deal? I donít want nuclear war but history tells us appeasement doesnít work against a bad actor like Putin. So we have fought in multiple wars we should have avoided, but we donít step up when weíre talking about Europe. Bullies only understand strength. I hope we have back channels with some Russian oligarchs and Generals to try to depose Putin.

  7. #87
    Quote Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMeDoIt View Post
    Its my understanding we had a treaty with Ukraine guaranteeing its independence when it gave up its nukes. I believe the old Soviet Union also gave the same guarantee. So the USSR is defunct, but why didnít we uphold our end of the deal? I donít want nuclear war but history tells us appeasement doesnít work against a bad actor like Putin. So we have fought in multiple wars we should have avoided, but we donít step up when weíre talking about Europe. Bullies only understand strength. I hope we have back channels with some Russian oligarchs and Generals to try to depose Putin.
    You are referring to the Budapest Memorandum.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Budape...ity_Assurances

    I think the 2014 annexation of Crimea by Putin shows that it's pretty much worthless.

    I highly doubt Putin is going anywhere.

  8. #88
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Cincinnati
    Quote Originally Posted by niveklaen View Post
    It sounds like no one has confidence in the Ukrainian's ability to bleed Russia with an insurgency.
    A 2019 RAND report analyzed an insurgency operation in the Baltic states against a hypothetical Russian invasion. It estimated that ďrobust technology initiative to equip resistance cells in all three Baltic states would require approximately $125 million in initial equipping cost.Ē We have given Ukraine much more than that, including $200 million announced just recently. One must assume that Ukraine realized that it could not withstand a Russian invasion head-on, and so has carefully organized an insurgency, including creating weapon and communication caches, training partisans, and developing routes into the country from Poland, Romania, etc. to maintain the insurgency (which is likely to become a point of conflict between Russia and NATO countries supplying the resistance). The question would be whether Ukrainians would maintain such an effort. Here was the estimate for Estonia:

    EstoniaInsurgency.jpg

  9. #89
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Quote Originally Posted by swood1000 View Post
    A 2019 RAND report analyzed an insurgency operation in the Baltic states against a hypothetical Russian invasion. It estimated that ďrobust technology initiative to equip resistance cells in all three Baltic states would require approximately $125 million in initial equipping cost.Ē We have given Ukraine much more than that, including $200 million announced just recently. One must assume that Ukraine realized that it could not withstand a Russian invasion head-on, and so has carefully organized an insurgency, including creating weapon and communication caches, training partisans, and developing routes into the country from Poland, Romania, etc. to maintain the insurgency (which is likely to become a point of conflict between Russia and NATO countries supplying the resistance). The question would be whether Ukrainians would maintain such an effort. Here was the estimate for Estonia:

    EstoniaInsurgency.jpg
    Great post, swood. United States aid to Ukraine in the past year or so has also supposedly consisted of nearly $700 million worth of weapons and equipment, along with further lend/lease-type arrangements of US-produced equipment via other NATO nations.
    I think that 1) Ukrainian resistance is likely to be more protracted than many might think, but 2) it's also unlikely to repel or prevent Russian objectives to any significant degree.

  10. #90
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Chapel Hill

    Swift

    Kicking Russia out of SWIFT is not a realistic option. As I understand it, without SWIFT Russian banks could not initiate or receive wire transfers from other banks in the SWIFT system who are outside of Russia. These wire transfers are essential for any commerce to go on between Russia and foreign countries. This commerce is still ongoing and very important to Europe and maybe to some extent here. Commerce including oil and gas transactions, transactions for the sale of commodities like wheat and food, medicine etc. And buying real estate in Miami and NYC. Kicking Russia out of SWIFT would be a foolish strategic move and likely to hurt ordinary Russians (who really have no choice but to live with Putin) horribly.

  11. #91
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Forest Hills, NY
    Quote Originally Posted by CameronBornAndBred View Post
    During his press conference today, Biden was peppered with questions regarding kicking Russia out of SWIFT. I really had no idea what this was, and why it was such a big deal. Apparently it's a very big deal, so much so that if it were to happen, Putin has signaled that he will take it as an act of war level aggression.

    I found this article helpful in getting me on board with understanding what it is and what's at stake.

    https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/s...ssia-rcna17533
    And the invasion of a sovereign state is not? Geesh. We're back to 1939.

    Swift is a huge move. Here's a brief summary: https://www.letsdeel.com/blog/what-is-swift

    And what will he do? Engage in Cyber warfare? (oops - already does)

  12. #92
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Lynchburg, VA
    Quote Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMeDoIt View Post
    Its my understanding we had a treaty with Ukraine guaranteeing its independence when it gave up its nukes. I believe the old Soviet Union also gave the same guarantee. So the USSR is defunct, but why didn’t we uphold our end of the deal? I don’t want nuclear war but history tells us appeasement doesn’t work against a bad actor like Putin. So we have fought in multiple wars we should have avoided, but we don’t step up when we’re talking about Europe. Bullies only understand strength. I hope we have back channels with some Russian oligarchs and Generals to try to depose Putin.
    The Budapest Memorandum of 1994 was signed by Russia (and the US, UK, France, and China) but didn't contain military assistant guarantees, so we have no formal obligation to defend Ukraine. The bigger problem is any US promise to defend Ukraine lacks credibility because there's not a single American political leader willing to risk a full-scale war with Russia over Ukraine. Putin certainly knows that.

    I agree that we have fought wars we could and should have avoided but we fought them because they were against countries like Iraq and Afghanistan rather than a nuclear power like Russia or China. The stakes here are very, very high. Better to set a credible red line (like attacking a NATO member) than a line Russia doesn't believe we will enforce.

  13. #93
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Forest Hills, NY
    Quote Originally Posted by budwom View Post
    yep. The people on TV fretting about gas prices don't seem to understand this very real possibility. If we cause Russia pain, they'll try to cause us pain. Just last summer some of his lesser minions wiped out out local hospital's entire computer system, and it wasn't pretty. We have all kinds of targets the Russian can take a shot at, and I fear they will.
    So we should just stand by? He already is conducting cyberwar. You need to punch bullies in the nose, and make it hurt.

  14. #94
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    New Bern, NC unless it's a home football game then I'm grilling on Devil's Alley
    Quote Originally Posted by duke74 View Post
    And the invasion of a sovereign state is not? Geesh. We're back to 1939.

    Swift is a huge move. Here's a brief summary: https://www.letsdeel.com/blog/what-is-swift

    And what will he do? Engage in Cyber warfare? (oops - already does)
    Quote Originally Posted by duke74 View Post
    So we should just stand by? He already is conducting cyberwar. You need to punch bullies in the nose, and make it hurt.
    It's clear from your posts that you believe the US should be doing more. What is that you'd like to see happen that won't bring the entire world to the brink of annihilation? (Serious question.)
    Q "Why do you like Duke, you didn't even go there." A "Because my art school didn't have a basketball team."

  15. #95
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Forest Hills, NY
    Quote Originally Posted by PackMan97 View Post
    You are referring to the Budapest Memorandum.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Budape...ity_Assurances

    I think the 2014 annexation of Crimea by Putin shows that it's pretty much worthless.

    I highly doubt Putin is going anywhere.
    Worthless because our "leaders" have forgotten the pledges to support our allies.

    As I noted in a previous post, I worry about Taiwan (and S Korea). And of course Israel. Luckily Israel has the capability to defend itself. And will. Never forget...never forgive...never again.

  16. #96
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Forest Hills, NY
    Quote Originally Posted by CameronBornAndBred View Post
    It's clear from your posts that you believe the US should be doing more. What is that you'd like to see happen that won't bring the entire world to the brink of annihilation? (Serious question.)
    Act with leadership and as (purportedly) the leader of the Western Bloc. We are back to the cold war - and deterrence is clearly not a viable strategy. And MAD (mutually assured destruction) seems not to affect Herr Putin.

    Oh, I miss RR.

  17. #97
    Quote Originally Posted by duke74 View Post
    Worthless because our "leaders" have forgotten the pledges to support our allies.

    As I noted in a previous post, I worry about Taiwan (and S Korea). And of course Israel. Luckily Israel has the capability to defend itself. And will. Never forget...never forgive...never again.
    I'm hawkish as hell. But we can't go to war for Ukraine. No more than Russia would defend Mexican sovereignty were we to invade. Ukraine is in their sphere of influence, and not a NATO member. Think of it as the Monroevich Doctrine. We aren't projecting military power into Russia's backyard. There are lines in the sand. This ain't one. This is when you use economic means to hurt them. But arguably Putin doesn't care about that, and sanctions push us deeper into inflationary issues and chaos ensues here and in other western democracies. That is playing into his hands as it were.

  18. #98
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Quote Originally Posted by duke74 View Post
    Act with leadership and as (purportedly) the leader of the Western Bloc. We are back to the cold war - and deterrence is clearly not a viable strategy. And MAD (mutually assured destruction) seems not to affect Herr Putin.

    Oh, I miss RR.
    This continues not to be an answer of any substance.

  19. #99
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    New Bern, NC unless it's a home football game then I'm grilling on Devil's Alley
    Quote Originally Posted by duke74 View Post
    Act with leadership and as (purportedly) the leader of the Western Bloc. We are back to the cold war - and deterrence is clearly not a viable strategy. And MAD (mutually assured destruction) seems not to affect Herr Putin.

    Oh, I miss RR.
    Quote Originally Posted by wilson View Post
    This continues not to be an answer of any substance.
    Exactly. You didn't answer the question. What you want to see the United States do?
    Q "Why do you like Duke, you didn't even go there." A "Because my art school didn't have a basketball team."

  20. #100
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Forest Hills, NY
    Quote Originally Posted by ClemmonsDevil View Post
    I'm hawkish as hell. But we can't go to war for Ukraine. No more than Russia would defend Mexican sovereignty were we to invade. Ukraine is in their sphere of influence, and not a NATO member. Think of it as the Monroevich Doctrine. We aren't projecting military power into Russia's backyard. There are lines in the sand. This ain't one. This is when you use economic means to hurt them. But arguably Putin doesn't care about that, and sanctions push us deeper into inflationary issues and chaos ensues here and in other western democracies. That is playing into his hands as it were.
    I don't disagree with you. Was not suggesting an armed attack or a war. I just smell a Munich on the horizon. Putin "promises" to stand still if the West [fill in the blank].

    Time to expand NATO eastward and get the EU to pull its weight. (A decades-old issue with the EU and NATO).

    And squeeze unmercifully economically. Make Russia a pariah state in every sector and arena.

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