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About Maithanet

  • Birthday 08/17/1982

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  1. IMO there is no realistic scenario where Ukraine is militarily defeated and agrees to give away a bunch of territory in 2023. If we go on a hypothetical that Russia commits to another, larger mobilization and wins decisively in summer/autumn of 20241, followed by a Trump victory2, then it is possible that Putin could seek additional victories, but I personally think he would be much more likely to wait a while to rebuild his military and economy. Not to mention the continuing occupation of Ukrainian territory which will be a low/mid intensity guerrilla war for decades. Even with that string of very good luck for Putin, I'm personally doubtful that Russia could win a war with the Baltics and Poland in 2026. This war has demonstrated that Russia's conventional military power was greatly overestimated. While it is fair to call into question NATO's political will, particularly going forward with other threats like climate change, that doesn't change the fact that Russia's military power is fading. 1 I think this is extremely optimistic for Russia and quite unlikely. 2 Possible, but by no means certain. 50/50 or so.
  2. OK, I don't see how any of that contradicts what I said. This war has clearly demonstrated that there is a block of countries that are very firm in their anti-Russia stance and the sacrifices they are willing to make. Those countries actually represent a pretty strong bloc (larger than Russia economically, and comparable militarily). As for how quickly Russia can launch another war such as this, there are a lot of question marks about such a future scenario, but I think it's pretty clear that the Russian military is getting weaker each month this war goes on. Older equipment, crappier gear, more worn out barrels, less ammunition stockpiled. That doesn't mean they aren't still dangerous - Russia is still a large country with a large military industrial base, but even if the war ended today, it would take a while before Russia was as strong as it was in Feb 2022. And unfortunately, this war probably has a long way to go.
  3. However, even if we imagine a scenario where Ukraine is forced to give away part of their territory (say Crimea and the Donbas), then Russia will need a long time to rearm. A Ukraine/Poland/Czech/Slovak/Baltic/Finland/Sweden grouping already has a significantly larger economy and a comparable military industrial base as Russia. By 2035 or later, there's a real chance it will be much further ahead (those countries are not under sanctions). In addition, the Soviet stockpiles Russia has needed to have any staying power at all in this war will be used up and a relative nonfactor in a future conflict. I'm not saying there isn't reason for concern in the Baltics, there certainly is. But if the US and Western Europe cannot be relied upon for robust military support, then I think we'll see an anti-Russia block exclusively of the eastern and northern european countries that take Russia seriously. They would probably need a catchy for their group, like the Warsaw Pact or something.
  4. Yes, this is one of the big advantages that Ukraine has over Russia. Ukraine can ship damaged equipment to allies for repair and refit. There is a fair bit of that capacity in Europe. In contrast, Russia has to rely on the same people/factories that are churning out more tanks, overhauling 40 year old T-72s, and increasing production of spare parts so frontline machines can be maintained without requiring overhaul. He also made the good point that the losses we don't see from just wear and tear of military equipment are very significant in this war. No military equipment lasts forever, and if you're talking about Soviet era stuff, even if it were well maintained in storage (not guaranteed), it is going to break down pretty quickly under hard use. If Ukraine is replacing its 2022 stuff with newer (~2000s era) NATO equipment, whereas Russia is bringing back equipment from the 70s and earlier, then Ukraine should have a meaningful advantage in how long its equipment will survive frontline duty.
  5. The new Perun video talks about casualties and how difficult it is to estimate them for the war in Ukraine. Couple relevant takeaways: - Casualties are certainly high in this war, but it takes a LOT of casualties to genuinely get to the point where a nation cannot replace them. Both Russia and Ukraine aren't even approaching 1/20th of the casualties they suffered in WW2 (and they won that war). - Likewise the economies of both countries are shaky, and the ability to continue to pay the ever increasing war bills is a challenge. But by mortgaging the future (and in the case of Ukraine, accepting a ton of aid/loans) neither is anywhere near collapse. Likewise talk about "running out of shells" misses the point. Nations run into ammunition shortages, but they basically never stop producing them altogether. There are some indications that Russia is cutting back on shell consumption, but not to the extent that they cannot continue fighting. Russia/Ukraine will never "run out" of shells. - The limiting factor in the war is materiel and training capacity. Turning a group of civilians into an effective military unit that is trained and equipped with modern (or at least workable) gear is hard. And in modern war you have to do that A LOT to replace casualties. Even a year into the war, Ukraine still has plenty of military age men that are not in the military because they don't have the capacity to train them or the war machines for them to operate. - The T-55 showing up indicates that Russia has run out of operable T-62s and T-72s in storage, but it doesn't mean that Russia doesn't have plenty of T-72s in storage that could become operational with an overhaul. There's just limited capacity to do those overhauls while also repairing existing tanks that are damaged, making additional spare parts, and increased orders for new T-90s (all of which is done at the same facilities).
  6. ?? You think that Putin is looking to start a missile or nuclear war with Japan (and by extension, the US)? I mean, Putin has done some very stupid things in the past 18 months, but that is well beyond anything we've seen thus far. I would consider an invasion of the Baltic states to be significantly more likely (and that is not at all likely either).
  7. It's weird because I use it as my primary feed (I don't follow that many people). I get the impression that it works way better for me than most people, because it isn't just a bunch of irrelevant junk.
  8. I use twitter to check on Ukraine news and who is winning local US elections. It has gotten buggier and generally a bit shittier since Musk purchased it. Having to see every single thing Musk posts, when he never has anything interesting to say, is a drag. But overall the platform is not dramatically different (for me anyway).
  9. Russia's conventional military is getting completely shredded, and even if this war wraps up fairly quickly (this year), by the end of it, Russia will have just a fraction of the fighting power it did in 2021. Even in a best-case scenario for Russia, the economy will be in the toilet for a decade, and it simply doesn't have the money to rebuild its army. Whether they attempt to go down the path of a small, professional army (a la the US) or a more Soviet style artillery/mass approach, they do not and will not have the money for the necessary equipment or training to make that first tier force. Russia has been trying to modernize and upgrade its military for 20+ years, and the result is this debacle in Ukraine, where the professional army fell apart within a month and they had to rely on Soviet tactics, equipment and shells in order to continue fighting. That Soviet fallback option isn't going to be available for Russia's next war (the massive Soviet stockpile will be exhausted in Ukraine). Russia's ability to use its conventional military to bully its neighbors is waning rapidly, and really only applies to the smaller countries. For countries like Ukraine and Kazakhstan, they obviously do not want a war with Russia, but they are not going to be simply bullied. They know that Russia cannot win a war in their country and will stand up for themselves accordingly. We're already seeing that out of Astana (the Kazakh capital, I had to look it up).
  10. I don't know what the Ravens are doing. If they want him back, then this has obviously gone wrong. If they wanted to trade him, his value has dropped in the past couple of months. Really doesn't add up to me.
  11. Russia putting nukes in Belarus seems like big news for Belarus but fairly unimportant beyond that. Kaliningrad is still part of Russia and they have nukes there. Which means that there are already nukes well forward into Europe in the event that Russia wanted to launch a strike with minimal warning. This seems akin to the US striking a deal to put nuclear missiles outside Vancouver - it would really only be threatening to Canadians.
  12. In my office pool only 6 of the 30 people had a single final 4 team correct. Of them, one picked Connecticut and the rest are out. A very unusual year for the tournament.
  13. But in a much smaller scale than the irony of all the former Warsaw pact nations sending thier Soviet era equipment to Ukraine to resist a Russian invasion.
  14. For the function of lobbing metal or explosives around, WW2 or even earlier tech can still be fairly useful. Small artilley, machine guns, etc. Obviously only in certain situations (thier mobility and range are terrible by modern standards). But they can still get the job done in a lot of situations. I'm certain if given the chance, Ukraine would be delighted to make use of a couple brigades of ww2 era artilley pieces (assuming ample ammunition supplies).
  15. Lack of ammunition is always relative. Whatever amount of ammunition that Ukraine has saved up, if they had 20% more, the offensive would be easier and that would save Ukrainian lives. I do not blame Zelensky for lobbying as hard as he can for more. But at the same time, you fight with the army you have, not the one you wish you had. The offensive will go forward when they feel it had the best chance of success.
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