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Ukraine

#101 User is offline   cherdano 

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Posted 2022-April-16, 12:33

So more often than not, I agree with the opinions expressed by johnu in the Watercooler. But that is always a bit of uneasy agreement, because his arguments are usually shallow, superficial and badly thought out that make them a bad match for the arrogant mockery in his tone.

So here where I disagree with him, my cognitive dissonance is gone and I can just enjoy dissecting his reasoning.

View Postjohnu, on 2022-April-14, 17:01, said:

:lol: While that is a true fact, Germany is reported as having 236 tanks total. UK has 227 tanks total. Russia had 2800 tanks plus another 10,000 tanks in storage. By contrast, the USA has 6612 tanks.

Russia could lose several thousand tanks and still have more than Germany and the UK.

So first of all, it doesn't matter how many tanks you have, it matters how many you can operate. And as most of these tanks weren't empty when they got destroyed, they also lost plenty of crews who'd be able to operate these tanks. And who knows how well-maintained those tanks in storage are.

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As far as troops, Russia has 1 million in its military, and 2 million in reserves. Finland has 5.5 million people spread over the entire country.

Here is another way to think about it. Finland has more than 10% of the population of Ukraine, but twice the GDP. And it has spent 80 years, not 8 years, preparing and planning for a Russian invasion, maximizing its cost. Moreover, advances into Finnish territory would be prone to exactly those type of ambushes that have been so costly for Russia in Ukraine.

Is the war in Ukraine really going so well that Russia wants to add 10% of manpower, 200% of GDP and 72 years of planning expertise to her opponents' strengths?

I don't know, but I what I do know is that johnu doesn't know.

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I read from many informed people who got their news from official intelligence sources that Russia would not be starting a shooting war with Ukraine for months before they actually did start shooting. Sorry if I don't give your statement any credibility.

So here johnu's analysis gets so shallow it might not even penetrate the oily film at the top of the pond. Yes, many foreign policy analysis or "Russia experts" predicted that Russia would not invade. But the US intellgence, and more importantly for our dsicussion, most military analysts concluded that Russia would, see e.g. Rob Lee or Dmitri Alperovitch. And those are the people now saying that the current war is unsustainable for Russia.
There was military and political logic for invading Ukraine in February (if based on misjudgment of the military outcomes). There is no military or political logic for invading Finland in the coming weeks.

View Postjohnu, on 2022-April-15, 21:20, said:

That's just one photo. In bridge terms, a singleton. If you were actually interested, I'm sure you could find more photos. In case you didn't know, Russia has completely shut down its independent press and the Kremlin isn't going to voluntarily disclose military troop and equipment movements unless it a publicity campaign. Russia puts leakers of state secrets in prison FYI. So US and other countries are basing their information on satellite photos and other discrete information.

So where are the reports that satellite photos show a "massing" of Russian troops across the Finnish border? You conveniently "forgot" to reply to my request for a source further upthread, maybe you could catch up with that at your convenience? We can wait. And you do realise that such satellite photos aren't just available to the CIA, right? Anyone could buy satellite photos to document such a troop buildup.


View Postjohnu, on 2022-April-15, 21:26, said:

As I mentioned, Putin is today's Stalin. He could starve his country, and ruin the economy to produce military equipment.

Irrelevant for the discussion whether Russia will invade Finland anytime soon. Switching a car factory to produce tanks won't start churning them out next Monday.

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There should be no way that North Korea has the resources to develop nuclear weapons and missiles, and maintain a huge standing army. Never say never when you are willing to sacrifice your own people for your own delusions of grandeur.

A nuclear weapons program needs much less resources than an army that can invade Finland.

View Postjohnu, on 2022-April-16, 01:58, said:

The fact is that despite the losses in Ukraine, Russia has more than enough equipment and personnel to successfully invade Finland in a few months. Putin can move more than enough troops from Ukraine to Finland if he decides to consolidate his gains in eastern Ukraine, and defending a limited area is much easier than attacking across a substantial front line.

So "defending is much easier than attacking" is supposed to be an argument in favour of invading Finland? :blink: That's my favourite part of this little subthread. :D
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#102 User is offline   johnu 

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Posted 2022-April-16, 17:04

View PostWinstonm, on 2022-April-16, 06:59, said:

But does Putin have the same iron-fisted control of Russia as did Stalin? The stability of the Russian economy is Putin’s Achilles’ heel.


Maybe not right now. Currently Putin is overwhelmingly popular among Russians and he faces no real political opposition because he hand picks his opponents in elections, and any real political opposition is poisoned, shot to death, imprisoned, or exiled.

Putin has shut down the free press in Russia and the Russian propaganda machine is running 24/7 in putting out propaganda denouncing sanctions on Russia when all Russia did in Ukraine was protect itself from Ukrainian nazis who were threatening Russia, in other words, self-defense.

60 Minutes had a story about (mostly students and professionals) Russians living in Ukraine. The people interviewed said that their own parents believed the Russia propaganda line instead of the children's own stories and phone photos showing the destruction. So I have not doubt that at least in the short term, Putin and the Kremlin can convince Russians that the US and western allies are punishing Russia for no good reason, which will solidify Russian support for Putin.
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#103 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2022-April-16, 18:55

View Postjohnu, on 2022-April-16, 17:04, said:

Maybe not right now. Currently Putin is overwhelmingly popular among Russians and he faces no real political opposition because he hand picks his opponents in elections, and any real political opposition is poisoned, shot to death, imprisoned, or exiled.

Putin has shut down the free press in Russia and the Russian propaganda machine is running 24/7 in putting out propaganda denouncing sanctions on Russia when all Russia did in Ukraine was protect itself from Ukrainian nazis who were threatening Russia, in other words, self-defense.

60 Minutes had a story about (mostly students and professionals) Russians living in Ukraine. The people interviewed said that their own parents believed the Russia propaganda line instead of the children's own stories and phone photos showing the destruction. So I have not doubt that at least in the short term, Putin and the Kremlin can convince Russians that the US and western allies are punishing Russia for no good reason, which will solidify Russian support for Putin.

This is true of all autocrats which makes their hold on power tenuous.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter. / "I need ammunition, not a ride." Zelensky
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#104 User is offline   johnu 

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Posted 2022-April-16, 19:05

View Postcherdano, on 2022-April-16, 12:33, said:

So more often than not, I agree with the opinions expressed by johnu in the Watercooler. But that is always a bit of uneasy agreement, because his arguments are usually shallow, superficial and badly thought out that make them a bad match for the arrogant mockery in his tone.

So here where I disagree with him, my cognitive dissonance is gone and I can just enjoy dissecting his reasoning.

Well, when it comes to shallow, superficial, and badly thought out, I yield to your well recognized expertise in these areas. I certainly don't want to challenge you in your core competencies such as they are because I can never beat your experience.

Do you actually think you are going to find well documented and sourced, peer reviewed white papers written just for a BBO forum??? Since you seem confused, this subforum is an "opinion" forum with some facts thrown in occasionally.

View Postcherdano, on 2022-April-16, 12:33, said:

So first of all, it doesn't matter how many tanks you have, it matters how many you can operate. And as most of these tanks weren't empty when they got destroyed, they also lost plenty of crews who'd be able to operate these tanks. And who knows how well-maintained those tanks in storage are.

Here is another way to think about it. Finland has more than 10% of the population of Ukraine, but twice the GDP. And it has spent 80 years, not 8 years, preparing and planning for a Russian invasion, maximizing its cost. Moreover, advances into Finnish territory would be prone to exactly those type of ambushes that have been so costly for Russia in Ukraine.

Is the war in Ukraine really going so well that Russia wants to add 10% of manpower, 200% of GDP and 72 years of planning expertise to her opponents' strengths?

I don't know, but I what I do know is that johnu doesn't know.

In the absence of probably classified military intelligence, nobody knows for sure exactly how many tanks (among other weapons of war) that Russia has at its disposal right now, and how many are battle ready, or could be made battle ready in a short time. Still, based on preliminary estimates, Russia has an overwhelming number of tanks for anybody but the US.

True, I don't know what Putin is going to do. For practical purposes, Putin is a crazy sociopath who is obsessed with power. Who knows what he will do. But if your brain cooperates, think about the situation on the ground. 6 months ago, almost nobody thought Russia was really going to invade Ukraine. 3 months ago before Russia invaded Ukraine, neither Finland nor Sweden had any plans to join NATO anytime in the near future.

Today, Finland and Sweden are both fast tracking NATO membership. Why would they do so if they weren't extremely worried about Russia attacking them? If there's nothing to worry about a Russian invasion according to high authorities like you, why would they risk antagonizing Russia who already threatened them about joining NATO. Please explain what you think is happening here and why Finland and Sweden are just overreacting to a nonexistent threat from Russia.

View Postcherdano, on 2022-April-16, 12:33, said:

So here johnu's analysis gets so shallow it might not even penetrate the oily film at the top of the pond. Yes, many foreign policy analysis or "Russia experts" predicted that Russia would not invade. But the US intellgence, and more importantly for our dsicussion, most military analysts concluded that Russia would, see e.g. Rob Lee or Dmitri Alperovitch. And those are the people now saying that the current war is unsustainable for Russia.
There was military and political logic for invading Ukraine in February (if based on misjudgment of the military outcomes). There is no military or political logic for invading Finland in the coming weeks.

So where are the reports that satellite photos show a "massing" of Russian troops across the Finnish border? You conveniently "forgot" to reply to my request for a source further upthread, maybe you could catch up with that at your convenience? We can wait. And you do realise that such satellite photos aren't just available to the CIA, right? Anyone could buy satellite photos to document such a troop buildup.

Irrelevant for the discussion whether Russia will invade Finland anytime soon. Switching a car factory to produce tanks won't start churning them out next Monday.

A nuclear weapons program needs much less resources than an army that can invade Finland.

So you can dig up a few twitter experts who successfully predicted the Russian invasion and who are not predicting anything happening in Finland. Great. Everybody can have their opinion. If these guys were 100% accurate, wouldn't they be working for or at least be special advisors to their government's intelligence services?

Buy satellite photos to rebut one of your comments about a well known and so far undisputed story? No thanks, but feel free to buy your own satellite photos to prove your point. And again, why are Finland and Sweden apparently fast tracking NATO membership right now if they don't perceive an immediate threat? Maybe you can email the leaders of Finland and Sweden and ask them why they are scared of nothing, because Russia is not going to invade.

Switching a car factory to produce tanks? Why not a refrigerator company? Russia already has tank building factories. All it has to do is switch resources to greatly increase the number of tanks being produced.

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A nuclear weapons program needs much less resources than an army that can invade Finland.

This was so good I ended up quoting it twice. I suppose you really meant nuclear weapons arsenal or something like that because a nuclear weapons program needs much different resources to design and build bombs than actually delivering them to targets, and Russia already has nuclear weapons program as well as a huge stockpile of nuclear weapons.

And yes, a nuclear deterrant from NATO may prevent a nuclear attack by Russia, if a nuclear attack is being planned, but then again, who knows with Putin. Is one planned? If you assume Putin is rational, then almost certainly no. Is Putin rational? Almost certainly no. So the threat of a Russian nuclear attack is well above 0%. How worried are Finland and Sweden about being attacked by nuclear weapons? TBH, I have no idea. Are they more worried about a conventional invasion more than a nuclear attack? I don't know that either, but IMO probably more worried about a conventional invasion right now because a nuclear attack is pretty unthinkable. Certainly a nuclear attack would negate 10% of the population of Ukraine, twice the GDP of Ukraine, and 80 years, not 8, of preparing and planning for a Russian invasion.

View Postcherdano, on 2022-April-16, 12:33, said:

So "defending is much easier than attacking" is supposed to be an argument in favour of invading Finland? :blink: That's my favourite part of this little subthread. :D

Nice try at attempting to understand my point, a participation trophy is in the email.

To reiterate, my point was that if Russia is consolidating its position in Eastern Ukraine and withdrawing from the rest of Ukraine, it needs many fewer troops there. As a result, those now excess troops could be sent to the Finland border.

Putting this altogether:
Defending in Ukraine = Decreased need for troops, excess troops available for Finland.
Invading in Finland = More need for troops. Where to find troops? Great, more troops from Ukraine are available to be transferred to Finland border.
Russia doesn't have enough troops to keep attacking Ukraine, and also invade Finland = See above, Russia is a lot closer to having the troops to invade Finland.
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#105 User is offline   cherdano 

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Posted 2022-April-17, 01:58

View Postjohnu, on 2022-April-16, 19:05, said:

True, I don't know what Putin is going to do. For practical purposes, Putin is a crazy sociopath who is obsessed with power. Who knows what he will do. But if your brain cooperates, think about the situation on the ground. 6 months ago, almost nobody thought Russia was really going to invade Ukraine. 3 months ago before Russia invaded Ukraine, neither Finland nor Sweden had any plans to join NATO anytime in the near future.

Today, Finland and Sweden are both fast tracking NATO membership. Why would they do so if they weren't extremely worried about Russia attacking them?

This is just completely missing the point.

When Finland decides to join NATO, but hasn't become a member yet, there is great incentives for Russia to launch an attack before that process is completed.

Why is Finland moving towards joining NATO now? In part, exactly because right now Russia is very very unlikely to launch an attack to dissuade Finland from joining NATO. Yes, they are worried about an invasion in the future. But they are not worried about an invasion in the coming weeks, while the membership process is on its way.

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So you can dig up a few twitter experts who successfully predicted the Russian invasion and who are not predicting anything happening in Finland. Great. Everybody can have their opinion. If these guys were 100% accurate, wouldn't they be working for or at least be special advisors to their government's intelligence services?

Uhm, again this completely missed the point. I found their analysis very convincing when I saw them back in December/January, and since then was very much convinced that Russia would invade. Also, it was clearly the majority opinion of military analysts. And again, the US intelligence community came to the same conclusion. If you hadn't noticed, then either you should learn to read more carefully, or change to read different news sources than the ones you were reading pre-war.

(Oh and btw, Rob Lee is, besides being a "twitter expert", is a senior Fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute, which says: "We educate those who make and influence policy, as well as the public at large, through the lens of history, geography, and culture." Why are you automatically assuming his opinions aren't considered by "his", i.e. the US government?)

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Buy satellite photos to rebut one of your comments about a well known and so far undisputed story? No thanks, but feel free to buy your own satellite photos to prove your point.

You do realise that news organisations do buy commercially available satellite photos these days? That the OS intelligence community also has access to some? That we know *a lot* about Russia's troop movements? There is absolutely zero chance that Russia could "mass" forces near the Finnish border without us having some clear evidence.

By the way, you are still welcome to provide a link for your claim that Russia is "massing" forces near Finland. We can wait.
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#106 User is offline   cherdano 

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Posted 2022-April-17, 02:05

By the way, maybe you could at least admit that you were wrong about US intelligence not predicting a Russian invasion? Here are some of the first google hits for "US intelligence will Russia invade Ukraine" restricted to results before February 8.

https://www.cnbc.com...telligence.html

https://www.ft.com/c...04-c255a943c84c

https://www.politico...ffensive-523760

https://www.bloomber...kraine-invasion

If you can't tell who is saying what based on what basis, everyone becomes a "twitter expert" or someone "briefed by intelligence sources", and you can't distinguish someone having access to background US intelligence briefings from someone studying Putin's politics from someone analysing the hard military evidence and logic.
The easiest way to count losers is to line up the people who talk about loser count, and count them. -Kieran Dyke
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#107 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2022-April-17, 05:16

There is one important difference between Ukraine and Finland.
Although Finland is nominally neutral it leans very heavily towards Europe and unlike the UK and the USA, is a member of the European Union.
Ukraine is neither a NATO nor an EU member.
There is a mutual defence clause in the EU charter which is called (unsurprisingly) the mutual defence clause and is part of the Treaty of Lisbon:

EU website said:

The Treaty of Lisbon strengthens the solidarity between EU countries in dealing with external threats by introducing a mutual defence clause (Article 42(7) of the Treaty on European Union).

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If a Member State is the victim of armed aggression on its territory, the other Member States shall have towards it an obligation of aid and assistance by all the means in their power, in accordance with Article 51 of the United Nations Charter. This shall not prejudice the specific character of the security and defence policy of certain Member States. Commitments and cooperation in this area shall be consistent with commitments under the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, which, for those States which are members of it, remains the foundation of their collective defence and the forum for its implementation.


This obligation of mutual defence is binding on all EU countries. However, it does not affect the neutrality of certain EU countries and is consistent with the commitments of EU countries which are NATO members.

This provision is supplemented by the solidarity clause (Article 222 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU) which provides that EU countries are obliged to act jointly where an EU country is the victim of a terrorist attack or a natural or man-made disaster.

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#108 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2022-April-17, 12:00

From Ukraine-Russia Negotiations: What’s Possible? (April 11, 2022) by Mykhailo Minakov, Senior Advisor on Ukraine at the Kennan Institute, & Iliya Kusa, Analyst at the Ukrainian Institute for the Future:

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Today, for Russia, it seems imperative to have at least a minimum “victory kit” comprising the following: (1) control of the city of Mariupol, (2) expansion of the self-styled Donbas people’s republics to the limits of their oblast administrative borders, (3) a permanent military presence in Kherson oblast sufficient to guarantee freshwater supplies to Crimea, and (4) preservation of the land bridge connecting the separatist-controlled territory in the Donbas with the occupied Crimean Peninsula by way of the Sea of Azov coast and Kherson oblast. This would be enough for the Russian government to declare victory.

The United States and the UK seem to by expecting a long-term proxy war against Russia through Ukraine. Such an extended engagement would allow retention of the anti-Russian sanctions, a further consolidation of Western allies, and a weakening of Russia in the long term. These are some of the reasons why American and British officials were initially skeptical or guarded with respect to Ukraine-Russia peace talks. For Washington and London, a quick peace settlement, however short-lived, would allow Russia to bounce back from its military venture and regroup, while some European partners would ease up on the sanctions regime and restore at least some trade ties with Moscow.

The European countries are clearly divided on the Russia-Ukraine war issue. While the EU member states seem to be consolidated on the need to respond to the Russian military invasion, they have their differences when it comes to burning bridges with Moscow, strengthening the sanctions pressure, or giving Ukraine more sophisticated weaponry. Germany, the Netherlands, Austria, France, Belgium, and other Western European countries want this war to end as soon as possible. A quick end would allow them to stabilize markets and commodity prices, make the threats to socioeconomic stability manageable, and partially restore trade with Russia. On the other hand, Poland, Slovenia, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia are pushing for more sanctions against Russia, including a total energy embargo and a transport blockade, and for the delivery of more sophisticated weaponry to Ukraine, including planes, tanks, and anti-aircraft systems.

Most countries in the global south, including such heavyweights as India, Pakistan, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Uzbekistan, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt, continue to insist on enhancing the West-Russia dialogue and achieving peace in Ukraine as soon as possible. However, several countries are also eyeing a potential role as a future guarantor of Ukraine’s security, with China, Turkey, and Israel among them.

In a long-term perspective, Asian and African countries believe that the war in Ukraine should lead to the establishment of a new post-Cold War security architecture, one not dominated by Western institutions. For them, Russia seems to be a challenger to the West and a champion of such a geopolitical shift.

In this intersection of competing interests, it is too early to come up with a clear vision of what the framework for a possible peace deal might look like. It seems clear that the bulk of the negotiations will be dedicated to determining the lines along which the parties will have staked out their positions by the time a ceasefire agreement is reached. Territorial control will determine not only the future military and political balance between Russia and Ukraine but also the prospects for Ukraine to successfully recover economically.

Moreover, the status of Crimea and the Donbas is a key issue on the negotiators’ agenda, owing to the enormous significance of the issue for the highly polarized domestic audiences of both Ukraine and Russia. Finally, the modality of Ukraine’s neutral status will be of high interest to Moscow and Kyiv. Ukraine clearly wants to minimize any limitations on its sovereignty inscribed in any possible neutrality agreement, while Russia is expected to try to impose additional arms restrictions and weaken foreign security guarantees for Ukraine.

Still, it is too early to know what framework might emerge, especially as the war is continuing. The battle for Ukraine’s East is likely to be crucial to the overall outcome of the war and the parties’ negotiating positions. Meanwhile, atrocities and war crimes continue to take place in Ukraine.

If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#109 User is offline   johnu 

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Posted 2022-April-19, 15:01

View Postcherdano, on 2022-April-17, 02:05, said:

By the way, maybe you could at least admit that you were wrong about US intelligence not predicting a Russian invasion? Here are some of the first google hits for "US intelligence will Russia invade Ukraine" restricted to results before February 8.

https://www.cnbc.com...telligence.html

https://www.ft.com/c...04-c255a943c84c

https://www.politico...ffensive-523760

https://www.bloomber...kraine-invasion

If you can't tell who is saying what based on what basis, everyone becomes a "twitter expert" or someone "briefed by intelligence sources", and you can't distinguish someone having access to background US intelligence briefings from someone studying Putin's politics from someone analysing the hard military evidence and logic.


Nice fantasy straw man argument by you. Of course Biden announced in a press conference on February 18 that he was convinced that Russia had already made the decision to invade Ukraine. As early as January 20, Biden said in a press conference that he thought Putin would make a move on Ukraine. So obviously at least some in US intelligence were convinced that Putin would order troops into Ukraine.

And at the same time, Biden was criticized by many media intelligence "experts" (as well as the usual QOP talking heads) saying that such talk by Biden would actually provoke Putin into attacking, which implicitly confirms that they didn't think Putin had made a decision. As the world's leading expert on this subject, what percentage of the US intelligence community do you think were certain that Putin was going to attack, you can round to the nearest 1%. And other leaders were surprised that Putin attacked. I guess they refused to believe the (near?)unanimous conclusions of their own countries intelligence agencies or they wouldn't have been surprised.
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#110 User is offline   johnu 

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Posted 2022-April-19, 15:26

View Postcherdano, on 2022-April-17, 01:58, said:

You do realise that news organisations do buy commercially available satellite photos these days? That the OS intelligence community also has access to some? That we know *a lot* about Russia's troop movements? There is absolutely zero chance that Russia could "mass" forces near the Finnish border without us having some clear evidence.

By the way, you are still welcome to provide a link for your claim that Russia is "massing" forces near Finland. We can wait.

You seem to have a pathological need to prove that the news stories about Russia moving equipment closer to Finland are false. And for some reason, you want me to do your work for you.

I've already declined to do so, but since you are having an existential crisis over the matter, why don't you get the photographs and do your own research (as I already suggested)? I'll even support a gofundme or similar account to cover the cost of getting those satellite photos. My pledge is that once your fund get to US $100,000, I'll donate a a couple of Argentina centavos to your project. If you write some articles and create a video that goes viral, you could become world famous as the guy who disproved any Russian buildup by Finland. Maybe you could even win a Pulitzer prize.

I've got some suggestions for your video. A dogs and a cat!!! People on the internet love videos with dogs and cats. You can show the dog and cat nodding in agreement as you show each satellite photo of empty land with no Russian military equipment. And when you finish your video, you can cut to the dog and cat pointing their paws at you as if they are saying "You da man!!!".

And the internet viewers love food and cooking videos. So while you are showing your satellite photos, you could include some video of the favorite local foods in the region and cooks preparing them.

There is no need to thank me if you become famous and rich as a youtube and tiktok sensation.
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#111 User is offline   cherdano 

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Posted 2022-April-19, 15:46

johnu: "Russia is 'massing' troops near the Finnish border."

cherdano: "What's your source?"

pillowsky: "The one news story I found talks about a picture of a missile launcher or two moved near the Finnish border."

cherdano: "That's a picture or two. Where are the stories claiming that Russia is assembling a massive number of troops near the Finnish border?"

johnu:

View Postjohnu, on 2022-April-19, 15:26, said:

You seem to have a pathological need to prove that the news stories about Russia moving equipment closer to Finland are false. And for some reason, you want me to do your work for you.


If you really can't tell the difference between the news stories cited in this thread, and your claim that Russia is 'massing' troops near the border, then I guess that explains a lot.

Bye.

Not sure why I ever engaged with this f* i*.
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#112 User is offline   johnu 

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Posted 2022-April-19, 16:15

View Postcherdano, on 2022-April-17, 01:58, said:

This is just completely missing the point.

When Finland decides to join NATO, but hasn't become a member yet, there is great incentives for Russia to launch an attack before that process is completed.

Why is Finland moving towards joining NATO now? In part, exactly because right now Russia is very very unlikely to launch an attack to dissuade Finland from joining NATO. Yes, they are worried about an invasion in the future. But they are not worried about an invasion in the coming weeks, while the membership process is on its way.

The irony of you saying that I missed the point is hilarious when you've been completely off point the entire discussion.

Yes, there is an incentive for Sweden and Finland to join NATO before Russia attacks. Thank you Mr. Obvious. As you say,

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there is great incentives for Russia to launch an attack before that process is completed.

So why hasn't Russian built up any forces at all by Finland to launch an attack? You claim there has been absolutely no troop buildup on the border, and yet Finland and Sweden are fast tracking steps to join NATO. As a minimum, Russia could have been constructing supply facilities and staging areas which wouldn't directly involve active military.

Of course, tactical nuclear weapons are a possibility and they don't really rely on any troop buildups. As long as you are in missile range, you are in danger. Putin has recently threatened to relocate nuclear weapons and missiles closer to the West, the implied threat is that he is willing to use them.

The fact remains, what I said is that

1) Finland and Sweden are fast tracking NATO membership - That is confirmed in the press and by government officials
2) Finland and Sweden are worried about Russian attacks - In a word, Ukraine.
3) Why NATO membership right now? - In a word, Ukraine.
4) Why wait until later? - In a word, Ukraine.

View Postcherdano, on 2022-April-17, 01:58, said:

Uhm, again this completely missed the point. I found their analysis very convincing when I saw them back in December/January, and since then was very much convinced that Russia would invade. Also, it was clearly the majority opinion of military analysts. And again, the US intelligence community came to the same conclusion. If you hadn't noticed, then either you should learn to read more carefully, or change to read different news sources than the ones you were reading pre-war.

(Oh and btw, Rob Lee is, besides being a "twitter expert", is a senior Fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute, which says: "We educate those who make and influence policy, as well as the public at large, through the lens of history, geography, and culture." Why are you automatically assuming his opinions aren't considered by "his", i.e. the US government?)

I'm sure Rob Lee is grateful that you are a fanboy of his. As far as the FPRI "influencing" the US government, I'm sure they lobby Congress and US agencies all the time. That is their mission statement. However, the US intelligence agencies have their own analysts and sources that they depend on, including other countries' intelligence agencies, and many of the sources and methods are top secret.
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#113 User is offline   johnu 

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Posted 2022-April-20, 05:01

View Postcherdano, on 2022-April-19, 15:46, said:

{lots of nonsense about news reports of Russia sending equipment toward Finland border}

Bye.

Not sure why I ever engaged with this f* i*.

If you have the integrity, dignity, and honor of resident troll Chas, I doubt that you are actually going to leave this thread. But one can only hope for the best and I hope you don't embarrass yourself by returning while this topic is still on this page.
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#114 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2022-April-20, 15:03

German "aid" for Ukraine.
And that's the kind version from Deutsche Welle.
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#115 User is offline   johnu 

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Posted 2022-April-20, 22:48

A story that could have had a humorous angle if the situation wasn't so deadly.

On February 16 of this year, Brazil's president Bolsonaro (aka Bolsonazi) had an in person meeting with Putin in Moscow and praised the murderous leader of Russia, and publicly proclaimed that Putin was a good guy that was not going to invade Ukraine. Not unusual as I have said before because many people who probably should have known better did not think Putin was going to invade Ukraine.

Fast forward to today, and Brazil's Foreign Ministry, under direct orders from Bolsonazi, placed all documents relating to that Russia trip to be under seal for the next 5 years. Seems like the press and members of the opposition party wanted answers about what Bolsonazi and Putin were discussing. For those not familiar with Brazil, Brazil is the largest and most populous country in South America and has been a democracy since 1988 although the democracy has been rather shaky under Bolsonazi who is a Trump toady.

Brazil's Foreign Ministry locks Russian trip documents under seal
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#116 User is offline   hrothgar 

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Posted 2022-April-21, 05:37

View Postcherdano, on 2022-April-19, 15:46, said:


Not sure why I ever engaged with this f* i*.


I reached the same conclusion
He's too stupid to bother engaging with
Alderaan delenda est
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#117 User is offline   cherdano 

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Posted 2022-April-21, 15:40

This is not a reply to johnu in the sense that it isn't directed at him. Just want to point out how often, in one-and-a-bit of posts, he explicitly or implicitly misconstrues something I wrote, and then argues against what I didn't write.

View Postjohnu, on 2022-April-19, 16:15, said:

You claim there has been absolutely no troop buildup on the border,

I said no such thing. I asked for sources for the claim that Russia is "massing" troops near the Finnish border, and claimed that if there were a massive number of Russian troops near Finland, we'd know about it.
"Not a massive number" != "absolutely no troops"

Quote

The fact remains, what I said is that

1) Finland and Sweden are fast tracking NATO membership - That is confirmed in the press and by government officials
2) Finland and Sweden are worried about Russian attacks - In a word, Ukraine.
3) Why NATO membership right now? - In a word, Ukraine.
4) Why wait until later? - In a word, Ukraine.

Here he implicitly claims that this contradicts something I said, but of course it does not. If Finland is worried about a Russian attack at some point 2023 or beyond, it would still be rational for them to join NATO as quickly as possible now, rather than later. NATO membership would presumably lead to some NATO troops being stationed in Finland (just as now in Lithuania), which takes time.

Quote

I'm sure Rob Lee is grateful that you are a fanboy of his.

So, I guess pointing out someone's role and track record (in response to someone questioning their credentials and role) now makes you a "fanboy".

Quote

As far as the FPRI "influencing" the US government, I'm sure they lobby Congress and US agencies all the time. That is their mission statement. However, the US intelligence agencies have their own analysts and sources that they depend on, including other countries' intelligence agencies, and many of the sources and methods are top secret.

Of course, he seems ignorant about the fact that every intelligence agency has staff evaluating publicly available information and analysis.

View Postjohnu, on 2022-April-20, 05:01, said:

I doubt that you are actually going to leave this thread.

Of course, I never claimed I'd leave this thread. I said bye not to everyone, but to him. And now he is finally where he should have been for a long time, namely on my ignore list. (Johnu, take advantage, get the last word in in your triumphant jubilant mocking tone, showing off your incredible intellectual and analytical skills with a final oh-so-subtle dig at cherdano!! (Note that you can be as non-sensical as you want, as I won't read and reply. Take advantage!!!))

Lessons for all of us: trolls with whom we share opinions should be shunned just as much as those we disagree with.
The easiest way to count losers is to line up the people who talk about loser count, and count them. -Kieran Dyke
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#118 User is offline   johnu 

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Posted 2022-April-21, 18:48

View Postcherdano, on 2022-April-21, 15:40, said:

Of course, I never claimed I'd leave this thread. I said bye not to everyone, but to him. And now he is finally where he should have been for a long time, namely on my ignore list. (Johnu, take advantage, get the last word in in your triumphant jubilant mocking tone, showing off your incredible intellectual and analytical skills with a final oh-so-subtle dig at cherdano!! (Note that you can be as non-sensical as you want, as I won't read and reply. Take advantage!!!))

Well Chas Cherdano, that's not even a credible childish attempt to weasel out, but like I said, I expected nothing more from you. And like the original Chas, I doubt that you have any self control or that you had any intention to do what you say. I will be more than pleasantly astonished if you manage to actually comply with your statement. I will continue to respond to anything that you post that I think is stupid or wrong which is most of your posts.
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#119 User is offline   johnu 

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Posted 2022-April-21, 19:11

View Postcherdano, on 2022-April-21, 15:40, said:


{more rehashed attempted rebuttals by cherdano that have already been refuted and/or commented on}


:lol: Typical move by an insincere troll to claim that they didn't actually say they were leaving the thread, then post a rehash of previous comments so they could get the last word, and then claim again that he will not respond to me in this thread.
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#120 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2022-April-22, 11:50

Adam Tooze said:

The damage being done to the Ukrainian economy every day by the Russian attack is mounting up at a dizzying pace. The bill, simply in terms of physical destruction, is likely in excess of $100 billion and counting.

Perhaps unsurprisingly this has triggered calls for a Marshall Plan for Ukraine.

I took up the theme in a new piece for New Statesman.

The most recent major work on the Marshall Plan by Benn Steil offers a judicious conclusion:

“DID THE MARSHALL PLAN work? to the extent that it was intended to allow the United States to disengage from Europe militarily, the answer is no. The Truman administration was ultimately obliged to conclude, reluctantly, that it had to commit to a military alliance, NATO, to bring its vision to reality. The Marshall Plan and NATO are therefore best understood as two parts of a wider European security policy, which was itself embedded in an emerging Grand Strategy of Soviet containment. But on this level, as a component of a broader strategy, the Marshall Plan did indeed work.

In invoking the Marshall Plan at this moment as an answer to the crisis of Ukraine that broader conclusion should be born in mind. Beyond the myth, a Marshall Plan is not a magic bullet! To be successful it must be part of a broader strategy. And given Ukraine’s needs it will need to be on a huge scale.

https://adamtooze.su...26orjhL4YMg&s=r

If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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