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Ukraine 20: We’re not bluffing and you can tell we aren’t by how we say we aren’t bluffing…


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19 minutes ago, Tywin et al. said:

Have we not learned yet that toothless half measure don’t work? Force the UN to address Russia’s legal standing as a member already.

You're never going to get a non-toothless measure from the UN. It doesn't work that way.

The key here is that Russia will claim the sham-referendums and annexations make these regions the territory of Russia itself and will use that to justify the use of conscripts on the front line. In the longer term, it could also justify the switch to a war economy, a declaration of war on Ukraine and maybe more extreme measures. A lot of Russians, maybe even most, will agree it's bullshit, but you need to trumpet that loud and clear on the world stage, to the point that even some friendly and neutral-friendly countries to Russia will have to agree it's bullshit as well. That way you strip Russia of even the sham of any kind of legal pretext for what they are doing.

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2 hours ago, Werthead said:

You're never going to get a non-toothless measure from the UN. It doesn't work that way.

The key here is that Russia will claim the sham-referendums and annexations make these regions the territory of Russia itself and will use that to justify the use of conscripts on the front line. In the longer term, it could also justify the switch to a war economy, a declaration of war on Ukraine and maybe more extreme measures. A lot of Russians, maybe even most, will agree it's bullshit, but you need to trumpet that loud and clear on the world stage, to the point that even some friendly and neutral-friendly countries to Russia will have to agree it's bullshit as well. That way you strip Russia of even the sham of any kind of legal pretext for what they are doing.

This has to piss off China.  A referendum like this by Taiwan is what China has warned against for decades.

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4 minutes ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

This has to piss off China.  A referendum like this by Taiwan is what China has warned against for decades.

It would certainly not be "like this" unless soldiers are going to be bringing the ballots to people's houses to ensure they vote the right way.  Any vote in Taiwan would be a real measure of public opinion. 

China has been resolute that Ukraine/Russia is a totally different situation than China/Taiwan, and at least in this case I would agree with them.  Predetermined referendums are meaningless. 

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Maybe we are doing the best we can but im frustatingly feeling like the sanctions are just not enough to hold Russia accountable for the state terror they've projected this year.

I suppose its always been a similar frustration over "what can be done" when a power like China or the U.S. misbehaves?

What recourse does the World have when stare-ing down a nuclear or energy power that can project back so much damage to any challenges?

These are difficult problems with no easy solution till Russia itself capitulates to its own failures.

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22 minutes ago, DireWolfSpirit said:

Maybe we are doing the best we can but im frustatingly feeling like the sanctions are just not enough to hold Russia accountable for the state terror they've projected this year.

I suppose its always been a similar frustration over "what can be done" when a power like China or the U.S. misbehaves?

What recourse does the World have when stare-ing down a nuclear or energy power that can project back so much damage to any challenges?

These are difficult problems with no easy solution till Russia itself capitulates to its own failures.

The sanctions were always going to take a while to work. If anything, mobilisation should speed up the damage to the Russian economy, which simply doesn't have the redundancy needed to absorb hundreds of thousands of working-age people being taken out of the system.

You are correct that there is frustration and wondering over what more that can be done, but it's also the case that an enormous amount of damage has been done to Russia's economy, military and its political stability. They are, to some extent, hiding the worst of it but that's now failing and you are seeing more and more anger and discontent boiling over in Russia that you weren't a few months ago.

How this ends the war is another question. I wonder if at some point a tipping point proposal might work, say full withdrawal to 23 February lines in return for Ukraine, Finland and Sweden signing a joint pact not to join NATO, but if Russia attacks one of them in the future, the other two automatically join immediately? Feels like we might be past that point.

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It's easy to get a false impression of Russian propaganda from clips like these.  But this is a deeply strange segment, where it seems like he is contemplating that Russia is losing, that Russia may lack the power to win, and that Russia may in fact be the bad guy in the war, but of course you can't just say that. 

 

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Some reports that Lukashenko has agreed in principle to mobilise the Belarusian military and prepare for possibly military action in Ukraine in accordance with the CSTO mutual defence protocol (which Russia has completely ignored with regards to Armenia). Also a lot of scepticism he'd be that stupid, but he might parade some troops on the border to tie down some Ukrainians (except that Ukraine already has significant forces on that border in case Russia tried to invade again via Belarusian territory).

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2 hours ago, Maithanet said:

It's easy to get a false impression of Russian propaganda from clips like these.  But this is a deeply strange segment, where it seems like he is contemplating that Russia is losing, that Russia may lack the power to win, and that Russia may in fact be the bad guy in the war, but of course you can't just say that. 

 

“Please don’t commit so many war crimes guys.”

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Poland's foreign minister has now said that if Russia uses even a tactical nuclear weapon in Ukraine, NATO should make it clear it will respond with a conventional strike mission, probably cruise missiles and air-launched weapons from outside Ukrainian territory aimed at specific Russian-held targets in Ukraine.

The idea seems to be not striking inarguable Russian soil and not using WMDs themselves but also launching a counterstrike on a large enough scale to deter further actions.

A lot of people seem to be getting very comfortable with this idea.

Also, even Russian channels are now suggesting that "losing" a confrontation against NATO is something they can accept but not against "inferior" Ukraine.

Which all sounds great, but still a very clenching moment.

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1 minute ago, Werthead said:

Poland's foreign minister has now said that if Russia uses even a tactical nuclear weapon in Ukraine, NATO should make it clear it will respond with a conventional strike mission, probably cruise missiles and air-launched weapons from outside Ukrainian territory aimed at specific Russian-held targets in Ukraine.

The idea seems to be not striking inarguable Russian soil and not using WMDs themselves but also launching a counterstrike on a large enough scale to deter further actions.

A lot of people seem to be getting very comfortable with this idea.

Also, even Russian channels are now suggesting that "losing" a confrontation against NATO is something they can accept but not against "inferior" Ukraine.

Which all sounds great, but still a very clenching moment.

So the back channel chat between Russia and Nato is, “We can’t lose against Ukraine, so if you could just bomb us a few times, we’ll withdraw and say NATO drove us out.”?

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9 hours ago, Werthead said:

You're never going to get a non-toothless measure from the UN. It doesn't work that way.

I know, which is why it needs to be changed. I've been arguing this for over a decade specifically when situations like this arise. 

Quote

The key here is that Russia will claim the sham-referendums and annexations make these regions the territory of Russia itself and will use that to justify the use of conscripts on the front line. In the longer term, it could also justify the switch to a war economy, a declaration of war on Ukraine and maybe more extreme measures. A lot of Russians, maybe even most, will agree it's bullshit, but you need to trumpet that loud and clear on the world stage, to the point that even some friendly and neutral-friendly countries to Russia will have to agree it's bullshit as well. That way you strip Russia of even the sham of any kind of legal pretext for what they are doing.

Russia has already been stripped of legitimacy. That was made quite clear when Xi and even Modi publicly undercut Putin. They have nothing to stand on as is. Now it's time to start striping them of what they have left and let them freeze alone in the winter if they're unwilling to play ball. 

Russia has exactly zero leverage right now.

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53 minutes ago, Werthead said:

Poland's foreign minister has now said that if Russia uses even a tactical nuclear weapon in Ukraine, NATO should make it clear it will respond with a conventional strike mission, probably cruise missiles and air-launched weapons from outside Ukrainian territory aimed at specific Russian-held targets in Ukraine.

The idea seems to be not striking inarguable Russian soil and not using WMDs themselves but also launching a counterstrike on a large enough scale to deter further actions.

A lot of people seem to be getting very comfortable with this idea.

Also, even Russian channels are now suggesting that "losing" a confrontation against NATO is something they can accept but not against "inferior" Ukraine.

Which all sounds great, but still a very clenching moment.

 

The worst of all cases. I hope the U.S. position is much more enlightened as to the long-term consequences of allowing Russia to start making rules of modern warfare.

We have undone ourselves in indulgence of long outmoded ideals. 

I would say that future generations will curse us and our leaders of the day, but I don't think there will be many of those generations to come if imbecilic policy such as ^^^ is what out masters think will save lives. 

So I'm here to take my lumps, if this becomes the official NATO line (not just Poland, who may be playing it cool waiting for louder denunciations from allies) then I was way wrong. If U.S. position was to allow the unilateral deployment of nuclear weapons in Ukraine by Russia (declaring in effect that nuclear powers may nuke non-nuclear powers with impunity, regardless of how many cruise missiles you shoot in response) then not only should U.S. not have helped Ukraine, we should have helped Russia topple their government as quickly as possible and annex as much of the region as they wished as peacefully as could be done. 

Because that's the rules, if a power is permitted to use nuclear weapons in offense then they get what they want every time (geography allowing) as long as another nuclear power isn't willing to stop them. Big victory for y'all pacifists, I imagine. 

Meanwhile, it's the worst case scenario for humanity that we get a slow rolling back of nuclear taboo (in anger), but because U.S. is, just, like the most fantastic piece of geography around there's upsides. 

Don't need no navy no more. We split space with China, they can have the East (lol fuck you and your tactical nukes Russia. Enjoy your New World Order with a side order of kowtowing), we get the West. ICBMs are so 20th century. We will just push a big tungsten spike out the door of the ISS (slightly more technical irl) and turn your cities into perfectly un-irrdiated craters. 

Navy is crazy expensive. In a nuclear exchange there is no longer a purpose for any surface vessel that isn't towing drone barges (the new aircraft carrier). So that pays for the expansion to the space force. 

And if we wanna protect our resource chains worth protecting we will need more soldiers to *die in fire* ahem, defend strategic interests and those folks are very cheap to find. So that's a boost to Army/Marine recruitment that might even drive the full socialization of healthcare. 

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7 hours ago, Maithanet said:

It would certainly not be "like this" unless soldiers are going to be bringing the ballots to people's houses to ensure they vote the right way.  Any vote in Taiwan would be a real measure of public opinion. 

China has been resolute that Ukraine/Russia is a totally different situation than China/Taiwan, and at least in this case I would agree with them.  Predetermined referendums are meaningless. 

Though since the Russia/Ukraine case is a completely bullshit referendum China making any statements that come across as sympathetic or even neutral to Russia severely weakens their standing on any moves for a Taiwan referendum. Anything other than condemnation of an illegitimate secession referendum implies a recognition of the legitimacy of the desire for self-determination and weakens China's hand on both Taiwan and Tibet.

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5 minutes ago, Firebrand Jace said:

So I'm here to take my lumps, if this becomes the official NATO line (not just Poland, who may be playing it cool waiting for louder denunciations from allies) then I was way wrong. If U.S. position was to allow the unilateral deployment of nuclear weapons in Ukraine by Russia (declaring in effect that nuclear powers may nuke non-nuclear powers with impunity, regardless of how many cruise missiles you shoot in response) then not only should U.S. not have helped Ukraine, we should have helped Russia topple their government as quickly as possible and annex as much of the region as they wished as peacefully as could be done. 

Because that's the rules, if a power is permitted to use nuclear weapons in offense then they get what they want every time (geography allowing) as long as another nuclear power isn't willing to stop them. Big victory for y'all pacifists, I imagine. 

I tend to agree with this. If Russia uses nukes with only a minor response, we've failed, and they'll just keep doing the same going forward. It needs to be made clear and directly that if Russia uses any kind of nuclear weapons in Ukraine, Moscow is fair game.

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Do you really think that if the US were to nuke Moscow that any of us would live out the day?  I certainly don't.  

Destroying the entire Russian military in Ukraine is not some minor slap on the wrist.  And NATO is quite capable of destroying basically the entire Russian military in Ukraine in a day.  

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8 minutes ago, Maithanet said:

Do you really think that if the US were to nuke Moscow that any of us would live out the day?  I certainly don't.  

Did I say flatly that there should be threats to nuke Moscow? No. I said to let Putin and those around him know it's now fair game to be attacked and his regime could be toppled as a means to prevent him from deploying nukes in Ukraine. If he does it anyways then one way or another he needs to be removed by force and those around him might be more willing to do the dirty work if they feared they and their families' lives were no longer safe because of him. 

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10 minutes ago, Maithanet said:

Do you really think that if the US were to nuke Moscow that any of us would live out the day?  I certainly don't.  

Destroying the entire Russian military in Ukraine is not some minor slap on the wrist.  And NATO is quite capable of destroying basically the entire Russian military in Ukraine in a day.  

I think that if U.S. failed to nuke Moscow (in responses) then every single country on this planet has a moral obligation to its dependants to pursue the accumulation of nuclear response capabilities. And from there the game is unmanageable and U.S. must shift all available assets to ICBM interception/deflection technologies as fast as possible. 

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