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Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Speed bumps

Apparently the USA learned nothing from the Cold War:
The new Army commander in Europe plans to bolster the U.S. armored presence in Poland and the Baltic states and keep rotations of U.S. troops there through next year and possibly beyond to counter Russia. Lt. Gen. Frederick "Ben" Hodges, who replaced Lt. Gen. Donald M. Campbell  earlier this month as commander of U.S. Army Europe, said the Army was looking to add about 100 Abrams tanks and Bradley Fighting Vehicles to the forces in Eastern Europe.

Since taking command, Hodges has made clear his concerns about Russia, which annexed Crimea last March and has supported the separatists in eastern Ukraine. U.S. Army Europe, which had 280,000 troops at the height of the Cold War, now has 31,000.

The rotations of U.S. troops on training missions in Eastern Europe would provide "deterrence against Russian aggression," Hodges said. "I don't think that Russia has any intention of some sort of a conventional attack into NATO territory because they know that would generate an Article 5 response."
Translation: We know from the old Fulda Gap that 100 tanks won't actually do anything militarily except provide a speed bump, but having ground troops there would provide the US with an excuse to get further involved if the Russians elect to follow the US lead in Ukraine and arrange for a "regime change" in Poland or the Baltic states.

One thing many Americans don't understand is that they are the bad guys in Ukraine. The USA is the evil aggressor that overthrew a flawed but democratically elected government and installed a puppet leadership against which a portion of the country is literally up in arms. This, in addition to the failed US-supported "Arab Spring", is another reason why anti-Americanism is on the rise in Europe and Asia.

To put it in perspective, imagine if Russia orchestrated the overthrow of the Mexican government (which is every bit as corrupt and shady as the former Ukrainian government was) and installed a pro-Russian puppet who promptly sent all of Mexico's gold reserves to Moscow and placed Russians on the corporate boards of its oil companies? Do you think the USA would respond in as limited a fashion as Russia has?

Remember, Putin does not have to be a good guy in order for Obama to be the bad guy. The recent warning about ISIS targeting US soldiers in America is apt, as the increase in the amount and extent of US interventions abroad is infuriating more and more people around the world. If the USA won't leave other sovereign countries alone, it seems likely that sooner or later, someone is going to return the favor.

Labels:

80 Comments:

Blogger Tommy Hass December 03, 2014 5:46 AM  

"This, in addition to the failed US-supported "Arab Spring", is another reason why anti-Americanism is on the rise in Europe and Asia."

The media is shilling hard against Russia though.

Anonymous Red December 03, 2014 5:55 AM  

Our leaders are mad, they really want a war with Russia.

Blogger stats December 03, 2014 6:02 AM  

Part of the reason that Israel and Neo-cons are able to wreak so much havoc is that their enemies are very stupid. There are really only a handful of Neo-con intellectuals in Washington that are driving this bus. Were Putin or Isis to focus there energy on this bunch, they could put an end to US meddling pretty quickly. But, no, Isis wants to off a couple of meaningless and powerless American soldiers. This just inflames support for Neo-con shenanigans. Take out Kristol, Kagon, Krauthammer, Frum, Podhoretz, etc. in one fell swoop and not only would the world be a safer place, but I wager that a large portion of thinking Americans would cheer.

Anonymous Charles Martel Fan December 03, 2014 6:07 AM  

If ISIS starts capping US soldiers at home don't be surprised if the Reconquista kicks off. With or without Washington's approval.

Anonymous kh123 December 03, 2014 6:44 AM  

"...imagine if Russia orchestrated the overthrow of the Mexican government..."

One can hope for miracles this close to Christmas.


"...someone is going to return the favor."

And as with post-9/11, more gov't sauce spread all around. The trick is to find the disincentive for politicians and the federal agencies that already exist to avoid returning the screw, or vice versa.

Anonymous kh123 December 03, 2014 6:47 AM  

"Take out Krauthammer,..."

But then, who will train the next generation of mutants.

Blogger Mr.MantraMan December 03, 2014 6:51 AM  

Go with the comment upstream about the neo-cons. But then again it is quite suspicious that a group that claims muslim legitimacy in the Arab world has not dropped a single stupid Kaytusha rocket upon "Little Satan." All that Syrian territory for the Israelies to be drawn in to a fight, but strangely those "pure" muslims with pure hearts for Islam never get around to poking that infidel beast, strange huh?

Anonymous Titus Didius Tacitus December 03, 2014 6:55 AM  

Tommy Hass has announced a theory that you can't be an invader if the government wants you there and it invited you in. The people may want you out, but they aren't in charge, the government is.

In that thread, I couldn't get my reply past the captchas, but it was all based on Afghanistan. There, a Communist party staged a coup, renamed the country, made atheism the state religion , and instituted the equality of the sexes, the kind of compulsory mass education Boko Haram hates, and "land reform," Commie style. Naturally the Communists also invited Soviets armed forces in, as the people were going to go berserk.

So the theory that you can't be an invader if the government has invited you in and it can't be war if the government wants you there, regardless of what they people want, means there was no Soviet-Afghanistan war.

Muslim colonists in Europe are as innocent as Russian soldiers who were told that they were there to help the Afghan people in a spirit of socialist fraternity, and they are entitled to the same love and kindness.


The main thing to notice is that the same model of conflict that became dominant in the Soviet Union is dominant in 21st Century America -- and not surprisingly, because it's the same people, such as Victoria Nuland, that are making war in the way they find congenial, just using different white patsies to do it. As in the heyday of Communist aggression you get tremendous and well-funded subversive efforts, inflaming local conflicts, and then you get your guys to stage a bogus "people's revolution" - and then since "your guys" are not self-sustaining against the natural push-back, you do whatever you like. Including, in Ukraine, walking off with all their gold.

One of the features of this kind of aggressive war-making is that because everything happens under a cover of extreme dishonesty it's hard to do much diplomatically to soften the brutality of war. All agreements are meaningless (as Muammar Gaddafi found out the hard way); you can't negotiate what people will go because the most basic facts are denied; maximalist aims (like "regime change") are routine; and there's a nutty, paranoid aggressiveness that can't be part of "the official story" but that drives events to the point that it becomes the unmentioned elephant in the room.

It's not a good thing when you develop the habits and the institutions of this kind of war-making. (Though Putin, who still has a lot of people on staff who remember how this game is played, is finding that institutional memory useful.)

And no this doesn't just boil down to cliches like "truth is the first casualty of war." There is always deceit as well as violence in war, and the systems that organize them most effectively tend to be nasty, but they are different systems. Jihad is not the same thing as this kind of war-by-cat's-paw. Rome had its own system and its own set of nasty tricks (like the way that being "under the protection of Rome" meant nothing unless the Senate and the Emperor thought that a war with the rationale of defending a certain ally was in Rome's interest), but they were different nasty tricks arranged in different patterns that suited the temperaments of different peoples.


So anyway: bad guys? Us? In Ukraine? Heck yes.

Anonymous Titus Didius Tacitus December 03, 2014 6:58 AM  

Tommy Hass: "The media is shilling hard against Russia though."

This is true.

Anonymous Bob Ramar December 03, 2014 7:00 AM  

Vox: I think that there are more people who 'get it' about Ukraine than you would think. It is not a large percentage, but probably around 10% or so. More have a general bad feeling about the State Department's fomentation of the 'Arab Spring' movement and how that turned out (badly). Hillary Clinton's ambition to run for President will only serve to keep these issues in front of the body politic and, hopefully, as time goes on a greater awareness of these facts will permeate a greater percent of the voting population.

My hope is that eventually, enough die-hard Democrats, and many Republicans, will really 'get' that they have been sold out by their own party and will stop supporting them. Most of the people I know look at party politics like sports team affiliation. Yeah 'my team' ... screw yours! Sooner or later they have to realize that actions have consequences and for people of faith to support a party that literally supports murder, sodomy, theft, etc. will mean that when you finally meet the Lord, and he starts asking you questions about how you lived your life, that you will be dealing with some very uncomfortable questions. I have told a number of people like this, including my in-laws (who are 'yellow dog Democrats') that you had better memorize the phrase "No Excuse, Sir" and be prepared to give that as your answer.

Anonymous zen0 December 03, 2014 7:01 AM  

If ISIS starts capping US soldiers at home don't be surprised if the Reconquista kicks off. With or without Washington's approval.

Fort Hood, 2009. 43 shot, 13 died. Maybe there was no catchy acronym involved, but it is all part of the same Hydra Jihadaia. I don't recall any retaliation for that one.

Blogger Northern Hamlet December 03, 2014 7:20 AM  

OT: if anyone willing would please say a prayer for me today. Strength, courage, and calm resolve are my needs for an important and difficult task to secure my family further. Thank you.

Blogger LP 999/Eliza December 03, 2014 7:43 AM  

Who the hell is running the media with these stories?! Alpha Male Vladmir Putin is very tolerant of such childishness.

Zeno, merry ChristmasThat should be a new car make and model, Hydra Jihadaia., too bad the would-be makers blow stuff up not make n sell.

Blogger LP 999/Eliza December 03, 2014 7:44 AM  

OT: Your help is on the way, the Lord's love and promises will not fail.you.

Anonymous Just Mark December 03, 2014 7:47 AM  

Vox: Not speed bumps ... trip wires.

Anonymous Dark Enlightenment December 03, 2014 7:47 AM  

Time to genocide all neocons... the Kratman final solution

Anonymous Didas Kalos December 03, 2014 8:13 AM  

Northern Hamlet, will do.

To me this entire power play is as plain as day. How to awaken a larger percentage of the American populace to understand this. As you wrote, "Putin (Russia) doesn't have to be good for Obama (USA) to be bad." We've had 165 years of State Worship indoctrination.

Blogger Outlaw X December 03, 2014 8:17 AM  

Do you think this might be why Hagel is resigning?

Anonymous cheddarman December 03, 2014 8:26 AM  

War against Russia inside of Russia worked really well for Napoleon and Hitler. I am sure our elites have it all figured out this time, because they are so special. Perhaps they view themselves as pink Mongols.

Anonymous Sensei December 03, 2014 8:40 AM  

Remember, Putin does not have to be a good guy in order for Obama to be the bad guy.

This is the thing so many Americans don't seem to understand. International diplomacy is not an Old Western with a black hat villain with his gang and a white hat hero with his posse. And if someone rides into town at sunset, it's probably a multinational trying to cheat you out of your silver mine.

But I guess now that we're all good tribalists, that's how we see the world:
Us and our hero/heroes vs. you and yours, fighting over a pile of zero-sum-gain loot.

Anonymous ZhukovG December 03, 2014 9:11 AM  

It appears that the elite in the West are desperate for a major ‘conventional’ war in Europe. If true, it may mean that the West is close to economic collapse and is willing to risk everything on a single dice throw, hoping for a 20.

Putin seems to be aware of this and is trying not to be drawn in, even though the Russian economy is taking some hits. Russia’s debts are only a little more than the debts owed it by other nations, so Russia is in good shape there.

I give better than even odds that Russia can just wait us out. Unfortunately this means the West will likely try something rash to force the issue.

I would expect a major offensive against Novorossiya, probably in Spring, but perhaps this Winter. Ukrainian troops will probably be stiffened with some western special forces, but I expect that Putin is working to help firm up the positions of the separatists.

A major victory by Novorossiya will probably break ‘The Ukraine’ and dash the West’s hopes.

If however, Russia is forced to intervene I look for MEU’s to attempt to take Petropavlovsk and possibly Vladivostok, though that may trigger Chinese involvement.

In the west, If Russia’s forces smash the Ukrainian army and are able to establish air superiority (via SAM and PAK FA), it is possible that Poland will grab Lvov and start negotiating a way out.

Europe will probably erupt in political and economic chaos, which should provide the elite with the cover they desire to secure themselves for another generation or two.

Then again… who knows.

OpenID genericviews December 03, 2014 9:21 AM  

... And we can't afford it. DoD has no money in it's budget for sending another rotation to Europe. The Army staff right now is haggling over now to pay for teh bills we already have. So, unless congress coughs up some more money, this isn't going to happen.

Anonymous Eric Ashley December 03, 2014 9:21 AM  

The speed bump did work.

And that's why we're not going to invade Russia. Any Xer or Boomer is going to instinctively flinch at the notion of invading Russia cause they lived through the Cold War.

And the US will be hated no matter what we do or don't do.

Anonymous Anonymous December 03, 2014 9:29 AM  

Jere says: You can make the case that the US/EU overthrow of Ukraine is even MORE egregious than a hypothetical Russian overthrow of mexico because the Ukraine or Ukraine is MORE culturally and religiously, geographically and economically AND linguistically related to Russia than Mexico is to the US. It would be more apt a comparison if Russia Intervened in a future breakaway CSA to prevent a conceptual reunification movement from establishing a new government in Richmond.

Anonymous Azimus December 03, 2014 9:29 AM  

Moving the "speed bump" into Poland may not have military significance but it does have political significance. The thing about the Cold War was that the two Principals fought each other, for the most part, by proxy. Mujahadeen, Rhodesians, Vietnamese, Israelis, etc. It is alarming to me that both factions are now openly posturing with national troops.

But its OK the EU is putting together a single rapid-reaction brigade to counter the Russian Bear. Should be ready by 2016.

Blogger Conan the Cimmerian, King of Aquilonia December 03, 2014 9:37 AM  

Northern Hamlet,

Done.

Anonymous John Smallberries December 03, 2014 9:39 AM  

Well, with a replacement population of mestizo peasants safely ensconced in the body politic and a large indigenous of population of useless eaters without even marginal marketable skills (think automated ordering at Mickey D's) then it's time for a nice little shooting war to cull this group.

OpenID simplytimothy December 03, 2014 9:55 AM  

Northern Hamlet

Done.

Anonymous Scooter December 03, 2014 10:02 AM  

Northern Hamlet - You got it.

Anonymous Titus Didius Tacitus December 03, 2014 10:09 AM  

Azimus: "It is alarming to me that both factions are now openly posturing with national troops."

The symmetry is spoiled by the fact that the Russians are openly posturing with troops inside what were once the borders of the Soviet Union.

Anonymous Titus Didius Tacitus December 03, 2014 10:18 AM  

Northern Hamlet

Done.

Anonymous Nah December 03, 2014 10:36 AM  

So the theory that you can't be an invader if the government has invited you in and it can't be war if the government wants you there, regardless of what they people want, means there was no Soviet-Afghanistan war.

You don't have to be an "invader" to fight a war in another country -- specifically, if you are fighting an insurgency because the host government asked you to help.

Nor does this inevitably result in disaster and defeat.

War against Russia inside of Russia worked really well for Napoleon and Hitler.

Ukraine is not Russia.

It appears that the elite in the West are desperate for a major ‘conventional’ war in Europe.

Which is why they are all feverishly plussing up their militaries... oh wait, most of 'em have defense spending that barely exceeds 1% of GDP.

Anonymous RedJack December 03, 2014 11:17 AM  

Outlaw

This among other things. Hagel was "local" for me as a kid. The family lived near by. His views on foreign adventures (he did not approve of Iraq, and left congress because of it) are well known. I do not think he would condone similar adventures in Europe.

Anonymous zippo December 03, 2014 11:18 AM  

"because the Ukraine or Ukraine is MORE culturally and religiously, geographically and economically AND linguistically related to Russia than Mexico is to the US."

Not for long.

Anonymous zippo December 03, 2014 11:19 AM  

Northern Hamlet

Done.

Blogger Josh December 03, 2014 11:25 AM  

NH: praying

Blogger skiballa December 03, 2014 11:27 AM  

America appears to have forgotten the lessons of the Cold War, and also appears to have gotten complacent in fighting under-equipped goat herders.

I know we're supposed to shine against conventional forces, but I think it'll be a hard lesson as we remember what that requires.

For instance, Russia now issues titanium-boron carbonitride ceramic body armor, along with small arms in a 5.45mm armor piercing, steel core flavor. Which means they have armor resistant to our small arms, and small arms that turn our armor into nothing more than a nuisance of added weight. When is the last time the US was outmatched in equipment at the tactical level?

I think it will add up to nothing more than posturing, but you never know. This veteran is glad he got out when he did.

Anonymous Carlotta December 03, 2014 11:32 AM  

Prayers sent.

Blogger Tommy Hass December 03, 2014 11:35 AM  

"If ISIS starts capping US soldiers at home don't be surprised if the Reconquista kicks off. With or without Washington's approval."

Absolutely nothing is going to happen.

And stop using th word Reconquista. It doesn't mean what you think it means.

Also, why do you worship that guy Charles Martel? It's not like his victory was necessary to avoid a muslim Europe.

Is it because he was the first?

Anonymous Porky December 03, 2014 12:10 PM  

@NoHam

Done.

OpenID simplytimothy December 03, 2014 12:23 PM  

@Tommy Hass

"If ISIS starts capping US soldiers at home don't be surprised if the Reconquista kicks off. With or without Washington's approval."

Absolutely nothing is going to happen.


If something does, what will you say then?

Blogger Chris Mallory December 03, 2014 12:26 PM  

"You don't have to be an "invader" to fight a war in another country -- specifically, if you are fighting an insurgency because the host government asked you to help."

So, if Obama asks Indonesia to send it's army to help quell the Tea Party, the Indonesians won't be invaders?

I don't care who invited them in, foreign troops on American soil should be hanged by their heels with their genitals in their mouths. Every other peoples has the right to do that to any foreign troops on their lands.

Blogger Iowahine December 03, 2014 12:26 PM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Anonymous RJ December 03, 2014 12:27 PM  

Looks like it's gonna be Christmas at Ground Zero.

Blogger Tommy Hass December 03, 2014 12:33 PM  

Reconquista. Come on.

Blogger Tommy Hass December 03, 2014 12:34 PM  

"I don't care who invited them in, foreign troops on American soil should be hanged by their heels with their genitals in their mouths. Every other peoples has the right to do that to any foreign troops on their lands."

Troops, maybe. But immigrants?

Anonymous Gleiw December 03, 2014 12:37 PM  

I think it was quite transparent that wanting to have US troops stationed on their soil (originally in the proposed US missile defense complex) in order to force the US to commit to activity in Poland if something were to happen was one of the primary reasons for the support the Poles gave the US in Afghanistan and Iraq a decade ago. It's one of the reasons they were so sore when Obama cancelled the missile defense complex in 2009.

It's also likely why the Poles were so actively involved in fanning the flames when the Ukraine situation was escalating, despite having no love for the Ukrainians themselves. They hoped that maybe this time they might end up getting the US commitment they longed for.

So at least the Poles belatedly got what they wanted, albeit in a rather schizophrenic manner, from the same US president who first denied them their prize.

One has to wonder what the Polish decision makers who made their country join two wars in a futile attempt to gain something feel about getting the same thing for unrelated reasons. Sitting on the side-lines and helping things escalate clearly pays better than active support.

Anonymous ZhukovG December 03, 2014 12:38 PM  

Nah,

Whether someone is an invader, liberator or welcome expatriate is the prerogative of the native population, which is not necessarily in agreement with their government.

These attitudes can change over time. For example; in Viet Nam a significant portion of the population once considered Americans invaders. Now, there is a significant expatriate community of Americans living in Viet Nam.

You are correct wars fought against insurgencies can be successful, but the vast majority of the native population must accept your legitimacy, such as the British Army against the Chinese Communists in Malaysia.

The Ukraine is historically part of the Russian Empire. However, I doubt the western elite have any intention of actually conquering Russia militarily, I believe they are smarter than that.

Concerning the balance of forces between NATO and the Russian Federation, including the USA, NATO has a clear numerical edge. However, neither NATO or Russia could long sustain combat operations on a continental scale and military conquest is completely out of the question.

One thing to bear in mind is that military victory does not necessarily equal success for the western elite. For the elite, elected officials are their cannon fodder. The poor slobs who bleed to death on battlefields don’t even rate. A military defeat at the hands of Russia with a negotiated peace settlement may actually be just what the evil doctor ordered to maintain the elite in their accustomed position at the top of the geopolitical food chain.

Blogger James Dixon December 03, 2014 12:38 PM  

> To put it in perspective, imagine if Russia orchestrated the overthrow of the Mexican government (which is every bit as corrupt and shady as the former Ukrainian government was) and installed a pro-Russian puppet who promptly sent all of Mexico's gold reserves to Moscow and placed Russians on the corporate boards of its oil companies? Do you think the USA would respond in as limited a fashion as Russia has?

With the current administration I have no idea how the US would react, if they reacted at all.

> OT: if anyone willing would please say a prayer for me today.

Done.

Blogger Sean Carnegie December 03, 2014 1:17 PM  

I find it funny that the group that seems to wish for war with Russia is the same that wishes they could implement Communism at the same time.

"You see, it wasn't done right any other time it's been tried. It'll be totes different this time, we promise."

Anonymous J December 03, 2014 2:12 PM  

To put it in perspective, imagine if Russia orchestrated the overthrow of the Mexican government (which is every bit as corrupt and shady as the former Ukrainian government was) and installed a pro-Russian puppet who promptly sent all of Mexico's gold reserves to Moscow and placed Russians on the corporate boards of its oil companies? Do you think the USA would respond in as limited a fashion as Russia has?

I think the USA would react the same way it did when pro-Russian puppets came to power in Cuba and Venezuela. We'd huff and puff but ultimately do nothing effective.

Anonymous Porphyry December 03, 2014 2:15 PM  

I know its early but know anywhere we can get an analysis of conflict in ukraine, in the context of 4G war? Crimea is less important, but it would be nice to see what the Russians did right.

Anonymous Porphyry December 03, 2014 2:32 PM  

From my perspective it seems like the rebels are fighting a 4G war well, but at the same time winning a 2G war on the Russian border, by exploiting the weaknesses in the american style system, i.e. enticing the enemy into making lightning grabs like he's been taught, and then punishing him when he does, because he doesn't have the operational structure for it.

Anonymous Nah December 03, 2014 2:34 PM  

So, if Obama asks Indonesia to send it's army to help quell the Tea Party, the Indonesians won't be invaders?

A retarded analogy, but no they would not.

Whether someone is an invader, liberator or welcome expatriate is the prerogative of the native population, which is not necessarily in agreement with their government.

Incorrect. It is determined by the government that controls the sovereign state.

The Ukraine is historically part of the Russian Empire.

Which is irrelevant because it is a sovereign nation NOW and recognized as such.

A military defeat at the hands of Russia with a negotiated peace settlement may actually be just what the evil doctor ordered to maintain the elite in their accustomed position at the top of the geopolitical food chain.

I know they are nuts, but are they that nuts? Military defeat will only hasten their decline.

Blogger Northern Hamlet December 03, 2014 2:46 PM  

Thank you all. Now I wait for the results.

Anonymous Porphyry December 03, 2014 2:50 PM  

"incorrect. It is determined by the government that controls the sovereign state." We can sit here and beg the question all day long. But first we need to determine who ought to give designation of ivader, etc... and that obviously comes down to the people. Imagine you had a dictator, nero style or better yet Caligula who functions as the sovereign. But is it correct to say that the people of Rome were "liberated" by bucephalus?

Blogger Matamoros December 03, 2014 3:02 PM  

Have to drop the Russian propaganda programming. Ukraine is a country, it has been invaded by Russia. Ukrainians are fighting and dying. They do not want to be a part of the Новый Советский Союз/Империум.

Maidan was simply throwing off the old Soviet regime that had continued in power. Now, instead of merely being a (post)soviet satrapy, they are forging an european country.

Is Europe and US supporting the developments? Of course. So what. Even the Eastern Ukrainians don't want to be part of Russia.

Discontent and rebellion against the terrorists who seized control of the region is growing, as is sabotage and active resistance.

Some 5,000 Russian troops have been killed, probably about 15,000 wounded, not including however many terrorists from Russia.

And this with inferior weapons and training, little artillery, a corrupt military and little government action. The Ukrainian people are fighting this war as volunteer battalions for freedom and Ukraine.

Just yesterday the Ukrainians holding Donetsk (the Cyborgs) killed 15 Russian special forces leading terrorists trying to take the airport that Ukraine regained in May.

If I may make a prophecy, look at the rise of Prussia during and after the Napoleonic Wars. Ukraine is being forged in the same way, and if it can prevail will become the new Prussia in the East.


Blogger Matamoros December 03, 2014 3:07 PM  

The Ukraine is historically part of the Russian Empire.

So what. It was also part of the Polish-Lithuanian Empire, along with Belarus. And don't forget the Ottoman Empire as well. Past is past.

Ukraine has been striving for its freedom for centuries, achieved it in 1918 for a few years, and lost it to the Soviets. Since 1990 it has again been free, and determined to remain so.

Anonymous ZhukovG December 03, 2014 3:29 PM  

Matamoros,

You make Nah, look like Otto von Bismarck.

Unless you were going for comedy, in which case you need to work on your delivery.

Anonymous Nah December 03, 2014 3:56 PM  

We can sit here and beg the question all day long. But first we need to determine who ought to give designation of ivader, etc... and that obviously comes down to the people.

No it doesn't. It comes down to governments. If the government of the country where the "foreign" troops are doesn't call it an invasion, and other governments don't recognize it as such, then it isn't.

This elementary principle of international law has been in existence for centuries. Really shouldn't be hard to understand.

Anonymous A.B. Prosper December 03, 2014 4:01 PM  

I think Putin is the good guy here since he is for the most part looking out for the interests of his people unlike our leaders. Now there are times that even if we were doing the same, we'd have a conflict of interest but that's realpolitik.

As it is the former actual Communist Spy is less of a Commie than the US is and that's pathetic

Anonymous Porphyry December 03, 2014 4:17 PM  

"This elementary principle of international law has been in existence for centuries. Really shouldn't be hard to understand." you forgot to specify your point as: that an invasion under international law is defined by certain characteristics that are used to define an invasion under international law. Now that I know what you're saying; the people on this blog aren't as dumb as you, well most of them anyway, and know how to use google.

Anonymous Azimus December 03, 2014 4:27 PM  

Matamoros December 03, 2014 3:07 PM

Ukraine has been striving for its freedom for centuries, achieved it in 1918 for a few years, and lost it to the Soviets. Since 1990 it has again been free, and determined to remain so.


I'll pit my Wikipedia vs your Wikipedia: from my understanding the concept of a "Ruthenian" as a "Ukrainian" was a late 19th century movement inside the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Up until that time, Ruthenians/Ukrainians looked at each other and saw Poles. This bond to their cousin-Poles was lost in the (I think it was) 1918-1920 war with Poland. That was basically the birth of Ukraine as an unique people group, sort of like how the Comanche and Navajo split from the same people. Unfortunately, Ukraine as a real independent polity died quite young, as you noted. Since Ukraine did not so much win their independence in the 90's as wake up one morning to find the Soviet Union dissolving around them, they haven't had much to galvanize them as a people. If they escape the current conflict smaller but with a unified, independent identity (as opposed to western puppet), it might be very beneficial to their culture and nation. However, if they leave a physically abusive "relationship" with Russia for a financially/mentally abusive "relationship" with the West, Ukrainian might cease to exist as a meaningful people.

Blogger Bies Podkrakowski December 03, 2014 5:45 PM  

@ Azimus

"Up until that time, Ruthenians/Ukrainians looked at each other and saw Poles." No, they did not. Poles were Catholics, they lived in the cities or in manors as land owners. Ukrainians were Orthodox, spoke different language and didn't have money. There were no bonds between Poles and Ukrainians apart from resentment.

Blogger Bies Podkrakowski December 03, 2014 5:49 PM  

Nah, you American are still good guys and Russians are evil. Ukrainians had elections and are quite supportive for their new government and troops. War tends to do that to people. It destroys proper and natural loathing that citizens should have toward their government. Sad, I know.

Anonymous kh123 December 03, 2014 5:56 PM  

"...because the host government asked you to help. Nor does this inevitably result in disaster and defeat."

The trick is to figure out whether the troll's from Eurasia or Eastasia.

We could really turn things on their head and suggest Oceania. Wheels within wheels.

Anonymous 11B December 03, 2014 7:40 PM  

Also, why do you worship that guy Charles Martel? It's not like his victory was necessary to avoid a muslim Europe.

Is it because he was the first?


Tommy, in your heart of hearts do you wish the muslims had successfully conquered all of Europe and made it part of the Islamic world? Do you think Europe would have turned out better if Islam had replaced Christianity?

Blogger Frank Brady December 03, 2014 8:33 PM  

@stats I will be among those cheering.

Blogger Frank Brady December 03, 2014 8:38 PM  

@Matamoros Which hyperactive regime change facilitating "NGO" employs you, the "Democrat" one or the "Republican" one?

Blogger James Dixon December 03, 2014 8:45 PM  

> This elementary principle of international law has been in existence for centuries. Really shouldn't be hard to understand.

Really? And where exactly is this international law codified? And from whence does it gain it's authority? What if the people of country refuse to accept it?

Hint, the term "international law" is somewhat of a misnomer. It doesn't actually exist. What exists are treaties and agreements between various nations, almost none of which are accepted by everyone. And when it comes the final arbitrator of what is legal under international law it's very much a matter of might makes right.

Blogger Tom Kratman December 03, 2014 8:56 PM  

We don't actually have tank battalions anymore; mech infantry and armor are joined at battalion level. 100 M1s represents about 3-4 battalions (I assume here that some rounding is going on). So I think we're talking a brigade. A brigade defending against a decent Russian division, or even two iffier ones....that's a reasonably fair fight. (Yes, the Russian Army has issues they haven't fixed yet and may never be able to fix.) However, that's not really the measure, either. The Polish Army, fully mobilized, is on the order of 650000 men, and can probably field 4-5 heavy and - oh, I'll make a stab at - 20-25 or so questionably equipped and trained foot- or truck-borne infantry. Adding in the Balts, at full mob, probably another 3 division equivalents. The Ukrainians can add maybe a division to that, of very questionable quality. On that scale, that brigade fairly insignificant as a brigade. As a trip wire, a way of informing the Russians that war with Poland means war with us once they kill some numbers of Americans, it's probably about right.

As to whether we should be setting that tripwire...

Blogger Tom Kratman December 03, 2014 9:00 PM  

There's a difference between international and universal, and there's a difference between law backed up by effective courts and law backed up by common sense, custom, and gentlemen's agreements. For the most part, for example, within western culture (but not generally other cultures) the customary laws of war are at least somewhat, and often very, effective. Some of the big reasons for that are that the customary laws of war don't try to do too much, that they have been tested in battle - as opposed to some tranzi's intellectual delusions - and found good, and that they are backed up by reprisal.

Blogger Tom Kratman December 03, 2014 9:04 PM  

"Since 1990 it has again been free, and determined to remain so."

Given the neighborhood and the neighbors, a country that's actually "determined" to remain free does a lot more than the Ukraine has to safeguard that freedom. Sorry, but a country that spends 1.25% of GDP on defense and has under 1/3 of a percent of its population under arms is simply unserious.

Blogger TontoBubbaGoldstein December 03, 2014 9:10 PM  

War against Russia inside of Russia worked really well for Napoleon and Hitler. I am sure our elites have it all figured out this time, because they are so special.

They probably figure that Climate Change has rendered Generals Snow and Winter irrelevant.

Anonymous Azimus December 04, 2014 9:09 AM  

Bies Podkrakowski December 03, 2014 5:45 PM
@ Azimus

"Up until that time, Ruthenians/Ukrainians looked at each other and saw Poles." No, they did not. Poles were Catholics, they lived in the cities or in manors as land owners. Ukrainians were Orthodox, spoke different language and didn't have money. There were no bonds between Poles and Ukrainians apart from resentment.


Like I said Bies, Wikipedia. Although, I'm sure the guy who wrote the article is as convinced he was right as you are that he is wrong. My central point was that Ukrainians as an unique people are not ancient - and they really have no uniting event, a rally point to bring them together. Like I said, Ukraine only exists because the Soviet Union ceased to exist. Likewise 1918 Imperial Russia ceased to exist. This current war could be the rally point - the thing that establishes "What is Ukraine?" in the eyes of the people who happen to live there. Or - if they choose unwisely it can be the thing that wipes them out for another 100yrs.

Blogger Tommy Hass December 04, 2014 9:59 AM  

"Tommy, in your heart of hearts do you wish the muslims had successfully conquered all of Europe and made it part of the Islamic world? Do you think Europe would have turned out better if Islam had replaced Christianity?"

I twould be less successful but also less degenerate.

Then again, one cannot exclude the local population. Islam as interpreted by NW Euros might turn out waaay different.

Blogger Matamoros December 04, 2014 11:38 AM  

Frank Brady @Matamoros Which hyperactive regime change facilitating "NGO" employs you, the "Democrat" one or the "Republican" one?

Quit your trolling, Frank.

Blogger Matamoros December 04, 2014 11:38 AM  

Azimus I'll pit my Wikipedia vs your Wikipedia: from my understanding the concept of a "Ruthenian" as a "Ukrainian" was a late 19th century movement inside the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Up until that time, Ruthenians/Ukrainians looked at each other and saw Poles.

You should study your history more. Ukrainians hated the Poles. Western Ukraine is Catholic, as is Poland, but different national aspirations.

Do bother to look at the pretty map pictures on Wikipedia. Read some of the captions of pics, such as: "Bohdan Khmelnytsky, "Hetman of Ukraine", established an independent Ukraine after the uprising in 1648 against Poland."

And, "Kyrylo Rozumovskyi, the last Hetman of left- and right-bank Ukraine 1750–1764, was, in May 1763, the first person to declare Ukraine to be a sovereign state."

Don't forget the map captioned "Kievan Rus', 980-1054" for origins.

Ukraine as Kievan Rus preexisted Russia. In large part Muscovy stole Kievan history for its own as it expanded, and took the name Russia.

You might bother to read the article: How Moscow hijacked the history of Kyivan Rus
http://euromaidanpress.com/2014/05/14/how-moscow-hijacked-the-history-of-kyivan-rus/

Blogger Matamoros December 04, 2014 11:56 AM  

skiballa For instance, Russia now issues titanium-boron carbonitride ceramic body armor, along with small arms in a 5.45mm armor piercing, steel core flavor.

I am having difficulty finding info on this body armor. Do you have a link for info on it?

Anonymous Azimus December 04, 2014 12:14 PM  

Calm yourself, Matamoros. Remember I qualified the whole discussion with "This is from Wikipedia". Here is the Wikipedia article I got the information:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polish%E2%80%93Ukrainian_War

Here is the quote

This came as a surprise to Poles, who until the revolution believed, along with most of the politically aware Ruthenians, that Ruthenians were part of the Polish nation (which, at that time, was defined in political rather than ethnographic terms).[4] In the late 1890s and the first decades of the next century, the populist Ruthenian intelligentsia adopted the term Ukrainians to describe their nationality.[6] Beginning with the 20th century, national consciousness reached a large number of Ruthenian peasants.

Don't sweat the little things and ignore the larger point. Whether Ukes that have been dead for 150yrs thought of themselves as Poles, or Poles that have been dead for 150yrs thought of Ukes as Poles is not the point. The point I was trying to make is that Ukraine is not an ancient people, it does not have the same depth of identity as, say, Russians, Spaniards, even Americans. They need that unifying/galvanizing event: this war may be it.

The snark was a little over the top, too. But that's how some people roll, I understand.

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