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02Pilot
02Pilot UberDork
5/16/22 3:40 p.m.

In reply to VolvoHeretic :

You'd need an international maritime lawyer to explain the ins and outs of UNCLOS, and how it relates to prexisting agreements like the Montreux Convention. My point is that you would never get cooperation from signatory states (most of Europe) for the type of restrictions you mentioned. Further, even if you did somehow get them to agree to close the various straits in question, you run a substantial risk of Russia choosing to ignore the restrictions, which puts the responsible adjacent states in the very uncomfortable position of either letting them go - proving the whole exercise a pointless farce - or blowing them out of the water, in which case possibly sparking further escalation.

VolvoHeretic
VolvoHeretic GRM+ Memberand Reader
5/16/22 3:56 p.m.

Yahoo.com: How Finland and Sweden Would Transform NATO’s Military Capabilities

And let's not forget when Russia stole Outer Manchuria from China in 1858-1860 which includes Russia's eastern navel base at Vladivostok. I bet they are chomping at the bit to get a chance to get it back.

Wikipedia: Outer Manchuria

VolvoHeretic
VolvoHeretic GRM+ Memberand Reader
5/16/22 3:58 p.m.

In reply to 02Pilot :

Thanks, there's been a lot to learn in just a few months. 

frenchyd
frenchyd MegaDork
5/16/22 4:55 p.m.
02Pilot said:

In reply to frenchyd :

Ukrainian naval capabilities are very limited at this point. What is all in a day's work for the USN is likely well beyond the Ukrainian Navy's capacity to act in many situations.

Waiting for a leader to die of a rumored disease may be wishful thinking, but it's hardly the basis for sound strategic decision-making. Strategic planning, and especially operational military planning, needs to be done on the assumption that Putin is going to live, sound in mind and body, for the foreseeable future.

Fair enough, but the mines would come from NATO sources. And could be laid by something as modestly appearing as a fishing trawler who just happens to be flying a Ukraine flag.  Heck,  out at sea it could carry the flag of anybody or no flag at all. Ppl

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
5/16/22 5:33 p.m.

In reply to frenchyd :

I would think flying no/wrong flag is a violation of the Geneva convention.  Mine layers are not civilian ships, they would be deploying materiel and not just transporting it.

Kreb (Forum Supporter)
Kreb (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
5/16/22 6:04 p.m.
VolvoHeretic said:

Yahoo.com: How Finland and Sweden Would Transform NATO’s Military Capabilities

And let's not forget when Russia stole Outer Manchuria from China in 1858-1860 which includes Russia's eastern navel base at Vladivostok. I bet they are chomping at the bit to get a chance to get it back.

Wikipedia: Outer Manchuria

If China wanted to grab an insanely large chunk of land, like everything East of the Lena river, right about now would seem to be the time to do it.

QuasiMofo (John Brown)
QuasiMofo (John Brown) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
5/16/22 6:28 p.m.

In reply to Kreb (Forum Supporter) :

Or trade it for oil futures.

frenchyd
frenchyd MegaDork
5/16/22 6:29 p.m.
Kreb (Forum Supporter) said:
VolvoHeretic said:

Yahoo.com: How Finland and Sweden Would Transform NATO’s Military Capabilities

And let's not forget when Russia stole Outer Manchuria from China in 1858-1860 which includes Russia's eastern navel base at Vladivostok. I bet they are chomping at the bit to get a chance to get it back.

Wikipedia: Outer Manchuria

If China wanted to grab an insanely large chunk of land, like everything East of the Lena river, right about now would seem to be the time to do it.

China considers everything north of China the Chinese northern resource land. 
 

If China Did that how do you think America would react?  
    Remember there is no NATO  to protect Russia.  And a considerable chunk of America'debt is owed to China.  
However we don't want countries attacking each other because they have something others want. 

02Pilot
02Pilot UberDork
5/16/22 7:30 p.m.

In reply to VolvoHeretic :

Happy to help. International relations a complex topic. It has a pretty solid functional logic to it, but a lot of it defies conventional wisdom and generally-held popular sentiment, so it can be hard to wrap one's head around.

aircooled
aircooled MegaDork
5/16/22 11:29 p.m.

Two little tidbit. One maybe a bit ominous and one a bit silly:

Apparently troops from the Wagner division (the elite Russian mercenary group) have been posting on Telegram about how bad things are going.

The phrase the soldier on Snake island said to the now former Moskva actual translate more to:

"Sit on a D*ck"

which is a bit funnier.

 

red_stapler
red_stapler SuperDork
5/17/22 12:23 a.m.
frenchyd said:

If China Did that how do you think America would react?  

The real question to ask in that scenario is if we'd participate in the nuclear exchange or not. 

frenchyd
frenchyd MegaDork
5/17/22 8:25 a.m.

I don't believe it would be a nuclear exchange between China and Russia.  Even tactical Nucs would be of little use in an area as devoid  of infrastructure as the area in question.  
 Once past the border defenses  (which basically consists of obsolete tanks dug into defensive positions hillsides).  It would be forest fighting with few supply roads.  
    There China's population advantage would spell out the winner. 145 million to 1 Billion 400 million. 

bobzilla
bobzilla MegaDork
5/17/22 8:51 a.m.

China invades Russian territory, tactical nukes aren't going to be what the Kremlin uses. Beijing will be glowing and that population advantage is now a liability. 

eastsideTim
eastsideTim PowerDork
5/17/22 9:04 a.m.
red_stapler said:
frenchyd said:

If China Did that how do you think America would react?  

The real question to ask in that scenario is if we'd participate in the nuclear exchange or not. 

I seem to recall that once a full scale nuclear war starts between two powers, they are likely to lob nukes at everyone as part of MAD, thus, yeah, we'd get drawn in.

02Pilot
02Pilot UberDork
5/17/22 9:09 a.m.

Let's think about this from Beijing's perspective. Either they can 1) continue to play their current role of quiet supporter of Russia in exchange for ready access to energy (probably at a discount if sanctions continue) that their economy desperately needs, or 2) join a Western-led movement condemning Russia's actions for no particular gain, or 3) launch an invasion for which they are ill-prepared, in an international environment that is riled up against any sort of overt aggression, to acquire hundreds of thousands of square miles of largely empty terrain, while risking a major war with a peer competitor. It doesn't take a great deal of time to figure out China's likely approach.

Edit: And in the ridiculous scenario of a full nuclear exchange between Russia and China, there would be no reason for either to launch on the US, which would of course invite a retaliatory response. The US would sit it out and start planning where to plant flags in the rubble.

Second edit: MAD is deeply misunderstood. It is not a strategy for conducting a nuclear exchange. It is a strategy for deterrence. Assured destruction describes a state in which a country has deliverable warheads of sufficient yield that, even in the event of a successful first strike against them, they will be able inflict existential damage on their opponent, thus removing the incentive for a surprise first strike. This becomes mutual when both (or all) parties involved reach this threshold. At its core, MAD considers itself a stabilizing theory, and adherents see proliferation as destabilizing, especially among rival states that cannot reach MAD (India and Pakistan, for example). In non-MAD rivalries, a surprise first strike could have a reasonable chance of destroying an opponent's ability to retaliate, thus creating an incentive for first-use that does not exist in MAD relationships.

QuasiMofo (John Brown)
QuasiMofo (John Brown) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
5/17/22 9:46 a.m.

Right now I am certain the Chinese equivalent of the Salvation Army could march straight to Moscow without many casualties. The Russian military is nearly useless and the idea that they can defend themselves without nuclear threat is laughable. That leaves the big question, what is stopping China from doing it? The same reason they haven't simply annexed North Korea. They need the mad rogue countries rattling sabres and creating havoc pulling attention away from the actual crap that they are doing. Russia has an established system of corruption that China can manipulate without having to be bothered with dealing with all those pesky starving faces. 

AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter)
AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
5/17/22 9:57 a.m.

In reply to frenchyd :

Based on what our leaders have done to our military the past two years, we aren't doing anything.  We would load up the teleprompter and make strongly worded statements.  We might send a few Hollywood stars and politicians too.  Our militaries morale and capability are greatly impaired right now.  China is holding all the cards right now.

02Pilot
02Pilot UberDork
5/17/22 10:08 a.m.

In reply to QuasiMofo (John Brown) :

Look at a map before you think it's that easy. China's routes into Russia are quite limited (unless you envision them going through Mongolia or Kazakhstan), and Russia is vast and undeveloped for most of its length and breadth. China doesn't have the logistics tail to make it 10% of the distance to Moscow, with or without opposition, and that's not even considering the loss of access to Russian POL.

Kreb (Forum Supporter)
Kreb (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
5/17/22 10:26 a.m.
eastsideTim said:
red_stapler said:
frenchyd said:

If China Did that how do you think America would react?  

The real question to ask in that scenario is if we'd participate in the nuclear exchange or not. 

I seem to recall that once a full scale nuclear war starts between two powers, they are likely to lob nukes at everyone as part of MAD, thus, yeah, we'd get drawn in.

Full scale nuclear war is suicide. You might as well take as many of your enemies with you as you can.

eastsideTim
eastsideTim PowerDork
5/17/22 10:45 a.m.

Assuming this messaging was approved(and the translation is accurate), it looks like Russia is starting to prime their citizens for a loss.  A Russian colonel on state tv discussing the state of the war far more truthfully.  Same one who, before the war, said it would not go well if Russia invades Ukraine.

 

https://twitter.com/BBCSteveR/status/1526329765065539592

02Pilot
02Pilot UberDork
5/17/22 11:05 a.m.
Kreb (Forum Supporter) said:
eastsideTim said:
red_stapler said:
frenchyd said:

If China Did that how do you think America would react?  

The real question to ask in that scenario is if we'd participate in the nuclear exchange or not. 

I seem to recall that once a full scale nuclear war starts between two powers, they are likely to lob nukes at everyone as part of MAD, thus, yeah, we'd get drawn in.

Full scale nuclear war is suicide. You might as well take as many of your enemies with you as you can.

You're assuming 1) that both (all) sides launch all of their weapons at once, and 2) that a significant portion of these weapons will be employed in targeting population centers (counter-value) rather than enemy nuclear launch facilities (counter-force). In reality, it is likely that even in the event of a large exchange, both sides would withhold some warheads to hedge their bets, and most targeting would be counter-force to minimize the ability of the opponent to launch a second strike. Counter-value targeting has no particular utility from a military standpoint.

The whole idea that nuclear war is just an all-or-nothing proposition is flat wrong. There is a great deal of thought put into this sort of thing. Yes, losses would be enormous and costs incredibly high, but to think that there is only one way to conduct such an exchange, or that results would necessarily be equal regardless of the choices made, has no basis in fact. Would there be a winner? Not likely with the current state of ABM technology and the number of warheads available. Could one side conceivably lose enough less to emerge in a meaningfully stronger state than its opponent? Absolutely.

Kreb (Forum Supporter)
Kreb (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
5/17/22 11:32 a.m.

In reply to 02Pilot :

We don't really know how a nuclear war will work out and I hope that we never do. I tend to think that people will panic and try to get as many birds in the air as possible. In a sense the concept of MAD offers a solace in the thought that nobody's going to be crazy enough to go there. Whereas the idea that nukes could be used tactically with "acceptable" loss levels is pretty frightening because someone's more likely to give it a go. I know that's not entirely logical, but that's the way my instinct points.

NOHOME
NOHOME MegaDork
5/17/22 12:21 p.m.

The Military Rep seemed quite candid.

 

Under the heading of "You see one shiny happy person in the morning and you have met one shiny happy person. if you meet several over the course of the day, you might be the shiny happy person"

 

 

 

02Pilot
02Pilot UberDork
5/17/22 12:56 p.m.
Kreb (Forum Supporter) said:

In reply to 02Pilot :

We don't really know how a nuclear war will work out and I hope that we never do. I tend to think that people will panic and try to get as many birds in the air as possible. In a sense the concept of MAD offers a solace in the thought that nobody's going to be crazy enough to go there. Whereas the idea that nukes could be used tactically with "acceptable" loss levels is pretty frightening because someone's more likely to give it a go. I know that's not entirely logical, but that's the way my instinct points.

And that's exactly why MAD was a comforting, if completely counterintuitive, concept to a lot of people who have to think seriously about these things. It's also why extreme risks have been taken to prevent proliferation to some countries (Iraq, Iran) that are considered potentially too dangerous to be allowed to possess them. This opens up a whole different set of questions that have little to do with Ukraine, but consider this: what's more dangerous, launching a major preemptive conventional strike against Iran's nuclear program and risking serious economic costs and likely terrorism in retaliation, or allowing them to develop nuclear weapons and risk that they may use even one against an isolated target, sparking potentially serious regional war and further nuclear release (if they hit Tel'Aviv, Israel is not going to be particularly restrained)?

aircooled
aircooled MegaDork
5/17/22 1:01 p.m.

On the aspect of China.  As noted, I don't think there is much to gain other then some minor national pride for China to take back some of the Russian territory.  Clearly, their focus is Taiwan.

One interesting aspect of that came up this weekend locally.  You may have seen it in the news, but a man (I think he may have been born in China?) went into a church full of Taiwanese, in California, and shot the place up (killing one, and injuring a few).  Certainly horrific, but the even more bazaar part of it is the supposed justification.  Something along the lines of: the issues between China and Taiwan drove him to it.  Clearly the guy is nutso, and this is just a justification, but it's not entirely different from general Chinese attitude toward Taiwan and almost as ridiculous.

It's interesting to see Global Times (Chinese government propaganda news site) story on it.  They note the shooting, note that the victims are Asian, and of course highlight racial tensions in the US (which they seem to love to highlight, and I suspect are "helping"). Nothing else.

What realistic threat does Taiwan (or these Taiwanese church goers) have to China?  The typical Chinese line is that they are ramping up the threat and threatening rhetoric. You mean the tiny island with 1/60th of the population and virtually no means to attack?  That same island you have made many many feint attacks at... is threatening you?  The threat that Taiwan is drawing closer to the west... which is primarily because of your threats....  

It's a bit like someone getting mad because someone else keeps putting up their arms like a boxer... how aggressive... maybe if you stopped making punching motions at their face...

Its all sounding very similar to the Ukrainian situation.

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