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Global Implications of the Ukraine Crisis


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As things stand right now, in 2014, I don't like the odds at all for the U.S. if a major war breaks out, and the current trajectory for those odds is to get worse all the time as time goes on. In very real terms we have pulled our pants down around our ankles while we bomb the hell out of people in tents in deserts under the guise of freedom and democracy (*cough* *choke* *puke*) but the real unfurled banners of corporate imperialism that has no loyalty to any nation and is greatly endeared to communism/fascism loom large for anyone with their eyes open.

 

Corporate imperialism being endeared to communism? Fascism I definitely get, but I don't think corporations would like to see all their assets taken from them and being put in in the hands of the state...

 

Communism is pretty much dead anyway (and please, no one try to make the case China is still a communist country, that's laughable).

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Are you kidding me? If they had loyalist troops, they would have send them already.

To illustrate that point, the troops that lost the APCs rather publicly a few days ago were paratroopers, about as close to elite soldiers as Ukraine has and they ought to be the most reliable too- that, presumably, is why they were sent into a difficult situation. It's the same problem Yanukovich had, despite all the 'anti terrorist' rhetoric the soldiers know they'd be fighting their own countrymen and in some cases their own comrades, and simply (and sensibly) don't want to.

 

OTOH, the government probably could rely at least theoretically on some of the armed militias, though sending them in would be at very best a double edged sword since one of the big rallying points for the separatists is fear and dislike of the Right Sector types.

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Okay, did Valsuelm suggested the US shouldn't outsource it's manufacturing to China because of the 'chance' that China will kill them all, and sees that as a major Illuminate plot to weaken the US?

 

That's... rather crazy if you mind me saying so.

 

A really grand war breaking out this day and age seems rather unlikely, since no-one wants the risk of being bombed to oblivion with nukes. In that way, they're pretty good peacekeepers.

Of course, only one nut has to go office (or whatever it's called in other countries with nukes) and and actually use them offensively to screw us all over, the dangerous downside. A pleasant thought...

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^

 

 

I agree that that is such a stupid idiotic pathetic garbage hateful retarded scumbag evil satanic nazi like term ever created. At least top 5.

 

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am thinking that unlike european nations that  invariably look for an internal threat against which it can direct efforts and blame for evils, the US typically looks outwards.  if a threat doesn't genuine exist, the US will make one. war with mexico 1846-48 seems like an early example. more recent, American public were all scared into a panic when we learned that the USSR were spending 15% of its GDP on defense (some recent estimates suggest that % should be approaching 25, but only 'cause GDP o' the ussr were even more pathetic than we thought.) 'course it is arguable that the soviet were never a genuine threat... save for all those nukes... which IS hard to dismiss.  saddam were a credible threat for 15 minutes or so. if muslim terrorists weren't a threat after 9-11, one wonders what new threat woulda' been created... probably woulda jumped at china that much sooner.

 

china has ownership o' huge amount of US debt...

 

PANIC.

 

the debt they own is in the form of US treasury bonds. 

 

oh.

 

china is taking over the world in manufacturing...

 

PANIC.

 

of rubber dog poop and office chairs and other stuff that don't fit within the definition of Capital Goods.

 

oh.

 

etc.

 

personally, Gromnir is not a fan when any significant portion o' defense hardware or components o' defense hardware is manufactured beyond US boarders. is not as if Gromnir is some great military strategist, but that feels wrong to us. even so, as far as credible economic threats is concerned, we thought the panic about Japanese manufacturing in the early 90s were far more realistic than current nightmare scenarios 'bout china... and the Japanese fears were never all that worrisome to us.

 

the United States has some serious debt issues and there is infrastructure problems that needs be addressed sooner rather than later... and by "sooner," we mean a couple decades ago. that being said, china? nope. sorry, we don't see it.

 

HA! Good Fun!

 

ps comments above should not make it sound as if we is dismissive of china economic metamorphosis of last 30 years. but much o' what were done by china to reach their current state is likely to impede further growth. gonna take wholesale changes that do not appear to be forthcoming.

Edited by Gromnir
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"If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence."Justice Louis Brandeis, Concurring, Whitney v. California, 274 U.S. 357 (1927)

"Im indifferent to almost any murder as long as it doesn't affect me or mine."--Gfted1 (September 30, 2019)

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Then let us not look at the blown up balloon that is the US economy and look at who really produces what? The fact is that the US has moved almost all of it's production overseas and is only just now beginning to show interest in moving it all back. The numbers you guys look up on wiki have so little to do with reality that it would almost be laughable, if more then half of the world wasn't dependent on that dollar. The US has built it's whole economy on the fact that they made sure that no one would call bull**** on it or they would bring down their own economy with it. I mean look at the Chinese even though they have money to burn, most of their federal reserves are in dollars so they don't dare do anything that would jeopardize that dollar.

 

But, and this is a big but, if world war broke out that dollar would not be worth more then the paper it was printed on and all that mattered would be what resources you have and what are your production capabilities. I don't think that the US would have capabilities for mass producing tanks and other weapons for years if all out war broke out. Their saving grace is that while their mass production capabilities are not really there, they do have massive stockpiles of weapons. But then the problem there is that most of those weapons are old. Which brings us back to, you can't win a war without boots on the ground.

You do realize that the United States has the second largest manufacturing industry in the world, right? Differing from China's by a small percentage? Christ, you're not even looking up concrete data, are you, Sarex? The U.S. has been consistently developing its sector for the past forty years.

 

The fact that some manufacturers have outsourced low complexity, cheap item manufacturing overseas doesn't mean that the U.S. has dismantled its manufacturing sector. As the statistics show, it did not. Neither did it dismantle its strategic military industries, such as tank plants, fighter assembly lines, shipyards, and other vital industrial centers.

 

Oh, you want concrete data? Let's take a look at steel production, then. Industry doesn't get much heavier than that.

 

In 1974, the US produced 136M tons. China produced an estimate 26M. Fast forward to 2013, the US production has shrunk to a still very respectable 87 million tons but, get this, China churned out an insane 779 mother****ing million tons of steel in 2013. Source

 

Let's also take a look at cement. In 1994 (couldn't find earlier data), for the US and China respectively, the numbers are 78M and 400M tons. Jump to 2013, and while American production has remained at 77M tons, Chinese production has been cranked up to a whopping 2.3 bn tons. The US have actually been importing cement for consumption, and jobs in that sector have dwindled. Source

 

This is the stuff things are built with, not paper money. It takes time to dismantle the world's once-largest industrial economy, but make no mistake, that's the end goal. The case study is the UK, the country that pioneered the Industrial Revolution in the 18th century and leading industrial power the next, and how it was largely de-industrialized in the 20th century chiefly thanks to the policies of Washington Consensus groupie Margaret Thatcher. That's where the US are heading.

Edited by 213374U
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steel?  concrete?

 

*shrug*

 

US market share of world manufacturing has been +/- 20% for three decades. similarly, other than some blip years during the recent recession, steel production for US has been relative steady for the same 3 decades. conversely, US share o' hi-tech production (not just manufacture) is 35%. the world's top 4 capital goods producers is US, Germany, Japan and UK... three other than US has seen their relative share drop in the past 3 decades. US has increased. china... not worth mentioning. 

 

bad news. us tort costs  and health care costs for manufactures is rising at rates greater than increase in gdp... and far greater than other major manufacturing nations. even more serious, over 50% o' physical science and engineering degrees is going to foreign students, and an increasing % of those graduates is returning to their native countries to earn a living. am not the least bit concerned by relative steel production, but the loss of capable science and engineering grads is disturbing... as is the fact that 'tween taxes, torts and health care, the US is becoming even less attractive for manufacturers. we all know what a bang-up job US high schools is doing at producing a future generation o' scientists and engineers, so am less than optimistic 'bout the near future.  is somewhat surprising, but small manufacturers has been shouldering an increasing share o' the total US manufacturing load for many years. some more cynical economists hypothesize that this is 'cause small manufacturers were able to offer fewer benefits to employees. recent changes to healthcare laws may have a chilling effect on small manufacturers, though hopefully only a temporary one. 

 

is lots o' positives and negatives for the US, but china? steel? no way. not yet. not for awhile and not unless they makes complete change to innovative//tech/capital... which is unlikely to occur with methods they used to become a manufacturing power. 

 

HA! Good Fun!

"If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence."Justice Louis Brandeis, Concurring, Whitney v. California, 274 U.S. 357 (1927)

"Im indifferent to almost any murder as long as it doesn't affect me or mine."--Gfted1 (September 30, 2019)

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The US slide from only power to one of great powers is definite but gradual. One must remember that the US rose to prominence because: a) its a huge country without real enemies on its borders b) Europe, where all the great powers were, imploded twice. Those are extremely favorable conditions. None of the US's competitors have that now, because they often have other regional powers as their neighbors and, at the very least, the US, which will do as much as it can to keep them from rising too high.

 

That said, a multipolar world is inevitable in the near future, if the tempo of changes that characterizes modernity holds up. 

И погибе Српски кнез Лазаре,
И његова сва изгибе војска, 
Седамдесет и седам иљада;
Све је свето и честито било
И миломе Богу приступачно.

 

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Russian Pol Urges Journalist Rape

A far-right Russian lawmaker known for his outrageous speeches exploded during a televised press conference Friday and urged an aide to rape a pregnant female journalist who had asked him a question. The journalist asked Vladimir Zhirinovsky, the deputy speaker of the Russian Duma (lower house), about recent Ukrainian moves to crack down on Russian men entering the country. Bizarrely and incomprehsibly, Zhirinovsky blamed the Ukraine unrest on "uterine frenzy," then said to his aide, "OK, I'll say it and then you run up and start raping her hard." Then he started shouting "Christ is risen!" and pushed the aide toward the journalist, who happened to be pregnant. "Go kiss her! Go kiss her!" 

 

Daily Beast

 

~~

 

The _Deputy Speaker_?

"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

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tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

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The myth of STEM shortage : http://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2014/03/the-myth-of-the-science-and-engineering-shortage/284359/

 

Propagated by corporations to justify importing cheap foreign labor.

 

 

Edit : On US destroying itself: http://www.theonion.com/articles/fbi-uncovers-alqaeda-plot-to-just-sit-back-and-enj,35788/

Edited by Wrath of Dagon

"Moral indignation is a standard strategy for endowing the idiot with dignity." Marshall McLuhan

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The _Deputy Speaker_?

 

He's leader of the Liberal Democrat Party (of Russia, he's not Nick Clegg's alter ego; rather a bizarre name considering they are whacked out detached from reality ultra nationalists). It's similar to how in the Westminster system you'll usually have speaker from the ruling party and deputy(-ies) from the smaller parties.

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The _Deputy Speaker_?

 

He's leader of the Liberal Democrat Party (of Russia, he's not Nick Clegg's alter ego; rather a bizarre name considering they are whacked out detached from reality ultra nationalists). It's similar to how in the Westminster system you'll usually have speaker from the ruling party and deputy(-ies) from the smaller parties.

 

 

Oh, OK. Thanks for explaining. The term is a bit misleading.

"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

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Russian Pol Urges Journalist Rape

 

 

A far-right Russian lawmaker known for his outrageous speeches exploded during a televised press conference Friday and urged an aide to rape a pregnant female journalist who had asked him a question. The journalist asked Vladimir Zhirinovsky, the deputy speaker of the Russian Duma (lower house), about recent Ukrainian moves to crack down on Russian men entering the country. Bizarrely and incomprehsibly, Zhirinovsky blamed the Ukraine unrest on "uterine frenzy," then said to his aide, "OK, I'll say it and then you run up and start raping her hard." Then he started shouting "Christ is risen!" and pushed the aide toward the journalist, who happened to be pregnant. "Go kiss her! Go kiss her!" 

 

Daily Beast

 

~~

 

The _Deputy Speaker_?

 

 

For these far right politicians it is far more important to cause a stir than to say anything legible. I guess he just took it to the logical next step.

Na na  na na  na na  ...

greg358 from Darksouls 3 PVP is a CHEATER.

That is all.

 

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Russian Pol Urges Journalist Rape

 

 

A far-right Russian lawmaker known for his outrageous speeches exploded during a televised press conference Friday and urged an aide to rape a pregnant female journalist who had asked him a question. The journalist asked Vladimir Zhirinovsky, the deputy speaker of the Russian Duma (lower house), about recent Ukrainian moves to crack down on Russian men entering the country. Bizarrely and incomprehsibly, Zhirinovsky blamed the Ukraine unrest on "uterine frenzy," then said to his aide, "OK, I'll say it and then you run up and start raping her hard." Then he started shouting "Christ is risen!" and pushed the aide toward the journalist, who happened to be pregnant. "Go kiss her! Go kiss her!" 

 

Daily Beast

 

~~

 

The _Deputy Speaker_?

 

 

For these far right politicians it is far more important to cause a stir than to say anything legible. I guess he just took it to the logical next step.

 

 

Yeah, but that sort of non-sequiterial leaping is the sort of gibberish I've only ever seen before in a roleplaying game, while attempting to confuse guards. Usually just before setting fire to the curtains and jumping out the window.

 

Please tell me he then went on to set fire to the curtains and jump out the window.

"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

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He was just giving the aide dating advice, not a big deal.

Why has elegance found so little following? Elegance has the disadvantage that hard work is needed to achieve it and a good education to appreciate it. - Edsger Wybe Dijkstra

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Russian Pol Urges Journalist Rape

 

 

A far-right Russian lawmaker known for his outrageous speeches exploded during a televised press conference Friday and urged an aide to rape a pregnant female journalist who had asked him a question. The journalist asked Vladimir Zhirinovsky, the deputy speaker of the Russian Duma (lower house), about recent Ukrainian moves to crack down on Russian men entering the country. Bizarrely and incomprehsibly, Zhirinovsky blamed the Ukraine unrest on "uterine frenzy," then said to his aide, "OK, I'll say it and then you run up and start raping her hard." Then he started shouting "Christ is risen!" and pushed the aide toward the journalist, who happened to be pregnant. "Go kiss her! Go kiss her!" 

 

Daily Beast

 

~~

 

The _Deputy Speaker_?

 

 

For these far right politicians it is far more important to cause a stir than to say anything legible. I guess he just took it to the logical next step.

 

 

Yeah, but that sort of non-sequiterial leaping is the sort of gibberish I've only ever seen before in a roleplaying game, while attempting to confuse guards. Usually just before setting fire to the curtains and jumping out the window.

 

Please tell me he then went on to set fire to the curtains and jump out the window.

 

each story we has read has details slight different, but they all include the bit 'bout  Zhirinovsky ordering an aide to rape a woman on his command.

 

...

 

sounds like dementia o' some sort. wonder if he has been tested for syphilis.

 

HA! Good Fun!

"If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence."Justice Louis Brandeis, Concurring, Whitney v. California, 274 U.S. 357 (1927)

"Im indifferent to almost any murder as long as it doesn't affect me or mine."--Gfted1 (September 30, 2019)

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LOL

 

I like your Saudi Arabia-approach to modern warfare. It worked great for Iraq. "Buy moar guns, bigger tanks, fancier jets". Or build them under license. Only that doesn't work outside of Command & Conquer. Putting together, supplying and deploying a modern fighting force is not something you can simply purchase overnight, it is a focused effort that takes years, if not decades, for a developed economy. It involves multi-year training for literally hundreds of thousands of people, massive investment in the form of education, appropriation, and most of all, it requires the political will to keep the pressure when people figure they'd rather have the roads fixed, the taxes lowered or what have you.

 

As for your prediction about what will decide the next "real" war (nice preemptive goal post shifting btw), I'm simply going to say [citation needed].

But it is not I who has a Saudi Arabia-view on power, it is you. By looking at military, KSA is poised to grab a top 5 spot in the coming years if they continue like this. This will in my opinion however not upset the balance of the world much. It is you who is saying that "Buy moar guns, bigger tanks, fancier jets" (military strength) equals power. In my mind, military power is useful as a deterrent, but it's not much you can do in peacetime with a gun to increase your standing in the world that won't backfire.

 

In my mind, it is firstly important with military deterrence (nuclear weapons) and secondly with a qualitative edge. As long as you have a nuclear deterrent, it might not matter if you always upgrade your entire aircraft fleet every time you develop new aircraft models. In peacetime, the only purpose of war materiel is deterrence. If you buy too much stuff, and there is no war, you will have wasted your money.

 

Again, gross simplification and more citations needed. The idea that you just "buy more warheads" is laughable enough, but buying more factories? You cannot do that even in most grand strategy games—are you really suggesting that's a viable course of action IRL? Who is going to put those factories together? What machinery is going to be used to manufacture the tools? We are talking wartime, remember? In wartime trade just doesn't flow freely, demand for essential materials and skills is extreme and now your bloated, financialized make-believe economy can only readily produce paper money. But no matter, because you can keep mashing the "buy missiles" button and you'll win in the end! Right?

Which grand strategy games have you been playing? Secondly, I'm not obviously talking wartime. I'm talking build-up to war. We're talking 21st century nuclear war. There's not going to be much attention paid to building weapons during the war after the first strike.

 

 

 

Sorry, but it's you who seem to be conflating 21st century warfare with the 20th century warfare. You're like a French officer in 1914 rambling about fencing and horsemanship skills gained in Africa. There hasn't been a significant war since WW2, but the technology has evolved exponentially. The next significant war will not be decided by methods of warfare that have been outdated for 50 years or more. The "experience" you talk of will be worth next to nothing, because there is really no "experience" that's been had recently which could be useful (the closest would perhaps be dogfights between American and export-model Soviet fighter jets during the Cold War) in preparation for 21st century warfare - nuclear warfare. The next real war will be decided by things such as this, this, this, and this. In order to win in that arena, you need technological edge and superior production capabilities in the build-up, the latter of which can be assumed has a maximum potential linearly dependent on GDP. If you don't have enough warheads, build more for your money. If you don't have enough factories, buy more factories. You'll have one nuclear sub today and 10 tomorrow. If things are suddenly looking grim, a rich, advanced country can buy military equipment in no time (US in WW2) when a country which constantly bets all the budget on a war tomorrow will find their economy lagging behind in the long run (SU in the Cold War).

 

You talk about conflating wartime and peacetime economies, but listen to this: the war has already begun. It's a war called "peace", and the war goal is to increase your wealth and productivity so you can better prepare for war later. There's not going to be a major war tomorrow. Using war capabilities to determine power in the world is therefore unrealistic. Of course, it's also not true that power is solely due to economy, but it is by far the best measure of power we have. Any realistic build-up to war would happen over several years. Especially in this nuclear age, things have to really go to hell before a real war occurs.

 

Secondly, "advanced foreign weapons systems", "buy expensive toys abroad". I never wrote that you should necessarily buy technology from abroad. Where does this assumption come from?

 

 

The next great war like any other will be resolved by the boots on the ground, like all the wars before it. I think you bought too much in to the American war propaganda or Discovery shows as they are called. You simply cannot win a war from the air. That has been shown time and time again in the 21st century wars conflicts.

 

Also you presume too much about the capabilities of either Russia or the US, people here seem to think that the whole war capabilities of a country can be found out on the internet. That is either precious or stupid, I can't decide yet.

 

During the Cold War, the US had around 2000 warheads (not missiles) ready for launch on short notice (so consider that a minimum armament of any nation in the event of an escalation to WW3). The population of the 200 largest US cities is around 78 million, compared to the total population of about 320 million. It's a very reasonable assumption that an absolute minimum of 33% of the US population would die immediately in the event of a nuclear strike of reasonable magnitude. Considering the US urban population (just look how grouped up they are! Like lambs to the slaughter for a fleet of MIRVs...) is about 80% of the total population, it probably wouldn't be hard to kill something like 70% on a first strike.

 

Targets to maximize civilian casualties and general collapse of society also include nuclear power plants. About 25% of the power on the US grid comes from 65 nuclear power plants, situated here. The worst nuclear catastrophe that has ever happened was at Chernobyl, and that will likely seem tame compared to what would happen if you actively blow up (for example with a nuke) a plant with several reactors. The Chernobyl Exclusion Zone looks like this (note the image scale). It's safe to say that significant parts of the Eastern US would be made uninhabitable. The effects of radiation in the immediate aftermath will probably kill a lot more. Please read this paper for the prospect of China dropping the (relatively speaking) tiny amount of 20 4 Mt bombs on the US (page 14 onwards).

 

What do you think will happen to the dollar in the event of a war? What do you think will happen to the US economy when the urban population is literally turned to ashes? Regardless of what will happen afterwards in the war, the US will likely never return as a big player on the international scene. The nations who don't participate in the war will be left laughing, as they will rule what's left of the world uncontested. There will be nothing left to fight for.

 

(The US was used as an example "target nation", the reasoning would be similar for any target)

 

And I guess this is where you and your "boots on the ground" come in:

 

BDE_ks02.jpg

 

"Boots on the ground"? Come on. You are being incredibly naïve. By the point you would deploy infantry (or ground forces in general), the nation the soldiers would fight for has already ceased to exist for all practical purposes. I know you might have fought glorious battles with little green toy soldiers when you were a kid. But like naïve people like you in the past failed to take into account the crossbow, the musket, the rifle, the machine gun, poison gas and strategic bombers by wishful thinking future war will not be what your grandfather told you about. What are you going to conquer? What are you going to occupy? Any infantry force would be fighting starvation and radiation more than fighting the enemy. And that is in home territory.

 

That is why the next "real" war will be fought by firstly ICBMs, nuclear damage mitigation, nuclear submarines, strategic stealth bombers, next by hangar ships and fighter/bomber jets and drones, and whatever is left after that likely won't be very important.

 

Also, it took the US from 1940 to 1942 to overtake the Soviet Union in tank production in WWII with an economy that was more than twice the size. But yeah, you can totally buy more military equipment in no time. If you are the single largest heavy industry-based economy in the world. And your production centers are safely away from the front lines. And you don't face material shortages. And...

But I'm not primarily talking about what you will do during wartime. Indeed, when the actual war has begun there is probably little to nothing you can do in the terms of building anything much. See my comment above.

 

Yes, because history shows that crises are really easy to foresee, and the enemy is going to wait for you to have fully mobilized the economy and built as many ICBMs and stealth strategic bombers as you could possibly need to nuke them back to the stone age. If you ask nicely, they may even let you finish deploying that shiny missile shield!

Please don't bother with the straw men. I never said military power is the way to measure power in the world. But it is a factor, and has always been. When forced to choose between historical correlation between military might and influence and your theory that GDP is the end all be all to determine weight in the international arena, I'm going with the established wisdom. Especially since apparently you live in Starcraft universe.

Yes, crises are quite easy to foresee. Just look at history and you will see a gradual worsening of relations before almost any war. Nobody can know the exact date, but that's not often very important.

 

Also, one of the really great aspects of nuclear deterrence is that you don't need to be able to kill 100% of another country's population. If you're able to kill 20% or 30%, that is often enough to convince other nations (and humanity in general) that war is bad.

 

The thing is that GDP IS the most sensible measure of power during peacetime. Possibly so important that other factors (with the granularity in GDP differences among the 10 biggest countries) are often negligible. Military power, except for nuclear deterrance, is pointless to measure during peace. So if we are ranking countries by military strength, we are doing so with the assumption of a war. But it is often far more likely we will have peace than war, and in any modern war the warring countries would just take each other pretty much out of the equation.

 

Ah yes, of course. It's after all incredibly easy, quick and cheap to design and build complex systems such as the Typhoon and the Leopard. That's why everyone does it. All the time.

You shouldn't exaggerate the difficulty of these projects, really. :)

 

Nevertheless, I never said that you should let go of producing new weapons systems. On the other hand, it's in peacetime not generally worth it to equip an entire ideal wartime army with every new system you build.

 

Only (hello?) we are discussing Russia, in case you forgot. Russia doesn't have "a" nuclear bomb. They have several thousand warheads and the ability to deliver them anywhere in the world in short notice. You then went off on a tangent about how having "a" nuke doesn't really change the game, but that's a point that nobody made. Strawman.

You know, that was the point I was arguing against when you entered the discussion :) I understand that you decide what you want to argue for or against, but it is very helpful that you clarify your stance before jumping in. If you criticize one part of a statement I might assume you are entirely against it all.

Edited by Rostere

"Well, overkill is my middle name. And my last name. And all of my other names as well!"

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No, the one that went right over your head, see it yet? I'll break it down for you, even though I already did in the post you quoted. The point is moot because you don't build your own nuclear weapons from scratch if you already are a member of a major alliance with members that already have strategic arsenals in place. But this, in turn puts you in a position where you either follow the lead of those countries, or risk being left without a nuclear retaliation capability. This is most definitely not the mark of a great power in this day and age.

 

No, it's the other way around. The big nations which don't have their own nuclear arms do so because they currently are happy the way things are. If it should come to pass that Germany should want to withdraw from NATO or Japan cut ties to the US, they will build their own nukes, guaranteed. Until then, they can save the "nuke bill" to invest in development and tax breaks instead. Don't mistake "generally agreeing with someone" for "following someone's lead".

 

Because you are building your whole argument from the basis that GDP is all that matters, and assuming that everyone else agrees—therefore so long as you can be relatively sure that nobody is going to rain down nukes on you first, you are a great power! But this is not a fact, it's simply a thesis of yours. This reasoning doesn't apply in the case that you want to pursue an independent international agenda that may conflict with that of someone else's. If you are an international yes-man, sure. Again, being a satellite state as far as foreign policy is concerned is simply incompatible with the status of great power.

 

What could, say, Germany want to do which might exclude them from NATO? You use such exaggerations - "international yes-man". For them, it's very convenient to enter an alliance where somebody already has nuclear arms. What could they possibly disagree with NATO so much on that they should want to withdraw? They are not a "satellite state" because of that. You talk as if it would be natural for any nation to have routine disagreements with other nations which could be so serious as to destroy a military alliance. For me, it's impossible to think of anything Germany could to within reason which might force them out of NATO.

 

Basically you are using your own argument that only GDP matters as proof that countries with large GDPs could be great powers if they put a large fraction of their nominal economic output towards military spending, and therefore any other player with a lower relative GDP cannot be a great power... as its GDP shows. It's a poignant blend of circular logic and unsupported premises, but fallacious all the same.

 

No. I'm saying that GDP is the best (simple) measure of peace-time power. Power is not tied in any way to military spending, other than military spending is tied to nuclear deterrence. Now on the other hand if we want to measure war-time power, the nations with high GDP have much more spending power than the others. It only happens to be so that certain nations are now, in peace, paying a fortune to equip their armies to be ready for a war tomorrow when there won't necessarily be one, "puffing themselves up". It's not circular reasoning - it's a statement (about GDP and power), then an argument for why the percentage of military spending right now is irrelevant.

 

"The nuke is a defensive weapon"? Again with the fallacies: "MAD is a nuclear strategy, therefore MAD is the only nuclear strategy". Nukes are as offensive as they are defensive, if not more. They are deployed as close to their targets as possible to reduce enemy reaction times and minimize the damage caused by the counterattack after a first strike. The reason why the missile shield initiative exists is because if completed it could give the US decisive first strike advantage over Russia, and this is because nukes are the offensive weapon. Nukes have only ever been used in an offensive way, against a country that had no retaliation capability. MAD is a possible outcome, but not necessarily the only outcome and not all nuclear scenarios are based on MAD.

 

And please, do elaborate on that list of prospective great powers and maybe we can actually talk about how feasible it would be for them to build a credible nuclear arsenal.

I'm afraid you misunderstood entirely what I meant by a "defensive weapon". I meant that nuclear weapons are primarily used as a deterrent, not as a weapon which would really help you conquer any other nation. In using nuclear weapons, you are necessarily also destroying what you set out to conquer. I think that the primary use of nuclear weapons historically has been to deter attackers rather than assist in conquest - I would call that defensive usage.

 

But you're right, nuclear weapons could be used as an offensive weapon in my sense of the word if you're only after strategic resources, and not conquering a foreign nation.

 

It's hard to remember exactly where my old posts are (and it's starting to be hard following this discussion), but the "prospective great powers" with regards to the current situation are Japan and Germany. If you absolutely don't understand how they can build a credible nuclear arsenal you are free to study engineering physics and learn what is needed to make atomic bombs, rocketry et.c. yourself. :)

 

Once again, circular logic. "X is a great power that doesn't have nuclear weapons. X therefore doesn't need nuclear weapons to be a great power because X is already a great power, without having needed nuclear weapons to become one". The obvious flaw is that you are still not giving a concrete definition of what makes a great power outside of GDP, and are not showing any evidence to back this point, instead expecting everyone to accept your assurances that you can buy credible force projection overnight.

I see you got confused here again. I'll make the corrections for you: "Suppose X is a great power (by Rostere's definition) that doesn't have nuclear weapons, but is still protected by nuclear weapons. X therefore doesn't need nuclear weapons itself to be a great power because own nuclear weapons does not change X' status regarding protection by nuclear weapons"

 

Think now. Think carefully and deeply. The above is not an argument for why my exact definition of "great power" is a sensible one. It's an argument for why owning nuclear deterrence is not a requirement for being a great power.

 

Ever more I get the feeling that you might not know what my original point was even about: "The obvious flaw is that you are still not giving a concrete definition of what makes a great power outside of GDP, and are not showing any evidence to back this point". You see, this chain of posts started when I said I think GDP was the best reliable way of measuring power. It has never been my purpose to give a definition outside that. I don't intend to present any more "evidence" for that than my own reasoning, but mostly (as you've seen) been arguing against what others have said.

 

No, actually, this is where you are supposed to explain how a country with no previous domestic nuclear program, and no nuclear plants domestically built since the fall of the Soviet Union could develop a serious nuclear force element. Oh, right. The "buy nukes" button.

Hmm. See above.

 

Only that's not my suggestion, it's the Ukrainian navy's admission. Also I didn't say "forever", or magically. *THWEEEERP* Strawman alert.

 

http://navaltoday.com/2012/03/21/ukraine-navy-admits-disability-to-man-submarine/

 

Do some fact checking, at least.

No, but you know, I assumed that was you was trying to say, because your original statement would be pointless otherwise. "seeing how they lack the ability to train submariners anymore, the suggestion that they can become a nuclear power is... interesting." If the Ukrainians say that they have no qualified submarine crew, how do they get more? Train them, obviously. Where did the first submarine crew ever come from? I can tell you for sure that submarine crew are not a finite resource that can never be regained once it is lost. If you admit they did not lose the ability to train submarine crew forever, then there is obviously no obstacle there. :shrugz:

"Well, overkill is my middle name. And my last name. And all of my other names as well!"

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Er, Germany and Japan were already dealt with previously... in the same paragraph. Political commitments and public opinion are also to be considered when discussing whether it's feasible for a country to embark on a nuclear program.


The correct way of writing what you was trying to say is then for example "South Korea is probably the only one in your list lacking political commitments with the know-how and industrial potential to do it". There, now you know so you won't have to do the same mistake next time. It's always easier to argue with people who can at least write logically coherent sentences to formulate their arguments.

As for political commitments... If you think that Germany and Japan are really fundamentally incapable of producing a nuclear deterrent if there should be any need to do so because they wrote that they wouldn't on a piece of paper, I think you're the Neville Chamberlain of the Obsidian Boards and not me (as was posited by another forum member in an earlier thread).
 

What the hell are you babbling about? The Soviet Union disintegrated in a political crisis in the wake of a failed hardline coup, not as a result of the economic crisis. The theory that Reagan outspent the Soviet Union to oblivion in the 1980's is just another of those economic history myths that refuses to die, but it's not really supported by facts.

http://www.theatlantic.com/past/politics/foreign/reagrus.htm

"facepalm" indeed.


The fall of the Soviet Union had to do with two things: One, the democratic nations was much more prosperous and less oppressive in general, which fuelled skepticism against Communism. Two, the increase in openness under Gorbachev. Why do you think so many Russians voted for non-Communist parties in their first elections? Why didn't the newly freed nations become Communist?

 

I'm not talking about an "economic crisis". I'm talking about the fact that it is impossible to keep people under an authoritarian regime which is control of all the wealth (and buys guns for it) when they can peek outside and see how the other side has things better. And since the SU had a much smaller economy to begin with, the were forced to pay a larger part of their budget for their weapons. Buying weapons for all your cash, having an repressive one-party state and opening up domestic debate and foreign connections is an impossible equation. The SU wanted to have military parity with NATO, while at the same time (under Gorbachev) opening up. Reagan's politics of stepping up that competition ("Star Wars" politics) would have been entirely meaningless without Gorbachev's reforms. Hell, if it wasn't for Gorbachev, the SU would probably still exists as a North Korea-like closed state today.

 

Obviously it's stupid to maintain that the collapse of the Soviet Union was due to an arms race only. North Korea proves that this is wrong - without any opening up, an escalation of the arms race will only serve to make their population poorer. But a continued arms race sucking money out of the SU TOGETHER with the opening up of their society proved very effective. People realized they were poorer than necessary, and that the Communist regime was spending it all on weapons (15-25% of GDP, I think).
 

Incredible way to miss the point, uncanny almost. I specifically made the comparison between the Soviet Union and the European members of NATO, excluding the US on purpose. That group of countries had a joint GDP of roughly 2.3x that of the Soviet Union. According to your GDP-means-power theory, Europe alone could have been more than enough of a counterweight for the Soviets, politically, militarily and especially economically. Only that doesn't reflect the historical reality of 1964 at all.


Will you think for a second before you write, please. If the entirety of Europe had subscribed to the faulty theory that whatever military arms you had-means-power, then yes, they would have been a very appropriate counterweight. As it is, the SU spent much more of their GDP (see above) on military than European NATO countries. However, they did NOT subscribe to that faulty theory, but counted on the US as well. Accordingly, they could spend less of their GDP on arms and more on development and consumer products. And thus it came to be that Western Europe became wealthier than the Soviet Union.
 

You must be tired. Yeah, that must be it. It cannot possibly be that you missed the huge ass IF that made the whole sentence work as hypothetical and without me actually making a statement either way.

Or maybe it is exactly that, and it is in fact you who needs to read more, in general.


Haha, actually I did not miss the "if" at all. It was just such a bizarre statement.

 

*makes serious face* "Only history will tell if Vanilla Ice will be up there with Mozart, Bach and Beethoven in the future"

 

Yeah. Dream on. We don't know about 2114 Russia, but we do actually know about 2014 Russia, which makes your question so laughable.

"Well, overkill is my middle name. And my last name. And all of my other names as well!"

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Hm, I can see a major conflict erupting that won't involve nuclear weapons being exchanged. As it'll probably be fighting over some other piece of turf, and obliterating yourself in that case probably isn't worth it. I could imagine one doing that if one is being invaded and has no chance of victory.

 

Then again, what do you class as a 'major' conflict, in any case ? Hardly naive to assume infantry will still be playing a role and be necessary.

 

Amazing what snarky **** you all are, though.

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Why has elegance found so little following? Elegance has the disadvantage that hard work is needed to achieve it and a good education to appreciate it. - Edsger Wybe Dijkstra

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BBC Monitoring do an uncharacteristically savage demolition of the Kremlin agitprop in the Ukraine crisis.

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-27104185

 

My favourite is the unsupported allegation that shadowy Western mercs are attacking pro-independence groups using a mixture of WW2 German and NATO weapons. You know, just to hammer the Nazi link to death.

"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

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3. Military

3a. Endurance - Raw numbers of military

3b. Striking power - carriers, long range aircraft and missiles (conventional)

3c Technology - any suggestions welcome, but suggest some sort of adjusted budgetary figure

Continuing from last time, may as well call this portion the "Red Storm Rising 2014" hour:

 

3b. 

The question is does the Russian navy have an aircraft carrier? The answer: Depends on what day of the week it is.

 

When the navy has to puff its chest, saying that it is a truly blue-water capable force, the Admiral Kuznetsov is one. When it has to do things like going through the Dardanelles and Bosphorus straits to get back to its home port (the Montreux Convention terms prohibit vessels with tonnage larger than a cruiser from going through the Turkish straits) then it "totally isn't one, it's an aircraft carrying missile cruiser." Then again, it isn't terribly good at being an aircraft carrier in any case: The years haven't been kind for Russian naval aviation and the few Su-33 navalised Flankers in service are on the verge of falling apart before the Navy's very eyes. To add to this, this aircraft has absolutely no ground attack capabilities, the Kuznetsov can only carry twelve of them, and can only feasibly launch two at a time, so it can hardly use its airpower in the same way a Nimitz Carrier and its carrier air wing does. Hell, the Russians have even looked to foreign defense contractors for their foreign force projection.

 

So for naval force projection, that leaves two options: Maritime bombers and submarines. We’ll tackle the bombers first. The most modern and primary maritime bomber of the Russian armed forces, as had been the case since the late Cold War for the USSR, was the Tu-22M Backfire, of which there are currently 58 in service with the Navy. Their primary anti-shipping weapon is the AS-4/Kh-22 “Kitchen,” a sea-skimming supersonic missile. On paper, it’s an extremely capable weapon, outperforming the western AGM-84 Harpoon in respects of range and speed (though not in VLO-capabilities; the Kitchen has twice as large a radar cross section as the Harpoon on the frontal profile). Against lightly-escorted merchant shipping it certainly could do, to say the least quite a lot of damage.However the Tu-22M can only feasibly carry two (theoretically it can carry three, though a third missile would impose serious reductions in range and speed on the launching aircraft). Against something heavier, like an American CVBG which has a multi-layered defense network escorting a merchant convoy, the math doesn’t quite add up in its favour and I find all the doom and gloom about how it renders surface navies (or even carriers) totally obsolete a totally dubious claim (I feel the explanation goes beyond the scope of this topic, though if I'm prodded to post it or PM it I might; I was already 3/4 of the way through it before I decided against it).

 

Then there's submarines. The Russian navy currently has fifteen fast attack boats, most of them Akula class SSNs, roughly comparable to the 688(i) Los Angeles Class boats, as well as several Oscar class SSGNs, and for my money are the most viable naval projection force that the Russians have at their disposal. However even then in any potential conventional shooting war they are heavily outgunned by the many ASW frigates and aircraft at the disposal of NATO fleets and would be restricted to more defensive roles rather than attacking North Atlantic convoys for a prospective Third Battle of the Atlantic, to say nothing of the US Hunter-Killer submarine fleet that heavily outnumbers it (it's often said the best way to hunt a submarine is another submarine).

Edited by Agiel
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"Turned wrong way round, the relentless unforeseen was what we schoolchildren studied as 'History,' harmless history, where everything unexpected in its own time is chronicled on the page as inevitable. The terror of the unforeseen is what the science of history hides, turning a disaster into an epic.”

 

-Philip Roth, The Plot Against America

 

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BBC Monitoring do an uncharacteristically savage demolition of the Kremlin agitprop in the Ukraine crisis.

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk...europe-27104185

 

That really isn't very good at all. Why?

 

Well, this article from the Beeb does exactly the same thing that they complain about, at such an almost exact point for point level that I'm not sure it isn't actually an Onion hijack.

 

Article 1: vague unidentifiable uniforms == Blackwater, don't make me laugh! Article 2: vague unidentifiable uniforms == Russians, yes, a sage point!

 

Article 1: NATO weapons used == clear propaganda statement! Article 2: look at all the Russian weapons! Russian weapons! Yes, so the asterisking Taleban, the Ukrainian military and every tinpot revolutionary in the world uses AKs (and Dragunovs too, for the better funded), but still, Russian weapons!

 

Article 1: crisp $100 notes and Yarosh's business card, clear set up (well, yes, far too convenient, but...) Article 2: A group called the "Sabotage reconnaissance group" of the "Russian Intelligence Directorate" takes group photos with identifiable individuals. Know how many identifiable pictures there are of serving New Zealand SAS officers on the internet, let alone group photos? Zero. Because covert ops groups do not take group photos and post them on the internet- much like the other Ukrainian agitprop in a similar vein, finding ID cards with (poor Russian syntax and) Occupation: Spy written on them. Who would have thought it though, ZZ Top was a Russian front group. Or maybe it's Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart from the Hart Foundation?

 

Article 1: Russians make ludicrous nazi accusations and allege that fake flyers handed out- in an article just after actual fake fliers were handed out in the east, complete with widely reported 'accidental' translation error making them appear to be legit? And somehow the BBC article still manages to spin that anti Russian too.

 

Article 1: Russians claim sacrilege. Yes, and Ukrainians claim they'll win because 'God is on their side' and that Russians are evil. And yes, the Beeb did report on that as well, though Mr Ennis seems to have missed it.

 

Yeah, the Russians are using propaganda, but it most definitively ain't like the other side aren't. I eagerly await Mr Ennis's balance providing follow up articles, which I am sure will follow.

Edited by Zoraptor
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