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Kreb (Forum Supporter)
Kreb (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
6/29/22 6:45 p.m.
aircooled said:
frenchyd said:
 

I must be reading different information than you.   Most of China's wealth is tied up in real estate....

China has a made a huge push with it's Belt and Road initiative and doing development in countries around the world.  It's one of it's primary initiatives. They pour huge amounts of money into countries, but it's not free... those countries are now indebted to China, and eventually, they will call in those markers and those countries will be obliged to lean to China.   It's a long term play, but they kind of specialize in that.

Bingo. That's the sort of economic imperialism that I'm speaking of. It's pretty impressively smart actually.

frenchyd
frenchyd MegaDork
6/29/22 6:59 p.m.

In reply to Kreb (Forum Supporter) :

I do agree that politicians tend to make bad decisions at least as often as good ones.   
      In that line of thought what are the possibilities of NATO holding together long enough for attrition to impact Putin?   
If NATO falls apart even a little Putin wins.  

frenchyd
frenchyd MegaDork
6/29/22 7:04 p.m.

In reply to Kreb (Forum Supporter) :

Belt and road is potentially a good deal for China.  Potentially.   Given enough time China can turn around some of the under  performing development  loans, but that won't deal with Russia and China's current situation. 
   In short you don't try to be friendly with a rabid dog.   You put him out of his misery before he infects too many others. 

aircooled
aircooled MegaDork
6/29/22 7:30 p.m.

Some current info, still no sign of the Ukrainians doing much:

 

Key Takeaways

  • Ukrainian sources reported that Russian authorities may be preparing to annex areas of southern Ukraine as the “Tavriia Gubernia” and that Russian authorities are setting conditions for annexation through preparing referenda in occupied areas.
  • Russian forces may be planning a false flag provocation at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant.
  • Russian forces continued offensive operations in and around Lysychansk.
  • Russian forces made marginal gains east of Bakhmut along the E40 highway and may seek to prepare for a direct offensive on Bakhmut.
  • Russian forces continued offensive operations to advance on Slovyansk from the northwest near the Kharkiv-Donetsk Oblast border.
  • Russian forces are continuing to engage in offensive operations north of Kharkiv City, indicating that the Kremlin has territorial ambitions beyond the Donbas that will continue to attrit manpower and equipment, potentially at the cost of offensive power on more critical axes of advance.
  • Russian forces continued to reinforce their defensive presence along the Southern Axis.
02Pilot
02Pilot UberDork
6/29/22 9:41 p.m.
frenchyd said:
02Pilot said:

In reply to frenchyd :

What is China's desired end-state here? They have no reason to want to overthrow Putin, and they have no reason to want to start an unnecessary war at a time when the CCP is facing increasing domestic pressures due to demographics and a slowing economy. Are you suggesting that China is somehow going to engineering a replacement for Putin who is a Chinese puppet? Other than that highly unlikely scenario, I cannot envision an outcome that is beneficial to China's leadership.

I'm not going to speculate on health rumors that have no objective evidentiary basis. The intel community may know something, but they aren't saying, and there's nothing remotely concrete in the open source press.

The same as Hitler during WW2. Land grab.  While China is roughly the same size as the US, they have almost no natural resources to capitalize on. 
     One way to control a population is to be in a war.   Loyalty  to your country overlooks a lot of flaws. With China's control of the media they can spin any story they want.  
    Normally I would be repulsed by such talk.   I'm suggesting that China become nothing more than a thief.  
However it would be a thief that benefits China, and the rest of the world by putting an end to Russia's  invasion of the Ukraine.

      Eliminating a potential global starvation issue, and maybe even discourages other potentially militant nations from following Russia's lead. 
  The worst outcome would be for Russia to succeed even to a modest degree. 
 Then we would be right back to what WW2 was really all about. •••• You have something I want so my military will take it from you. 

This is a vast and misleading oversimplification of the origins of the Second World War. Country by country, you can establish discrete objectives considered necessary for national survival and growth by the people in charge, based upon documented historical and contemporary circumstances. Grabbing land for the sake of grabbing land achieves nothing; if it were as simple as that, why didn't Germany invade Sweden after taking Norway? Sweden had raw materials important to German industry. Why didn't Japan invade Russia? It too had raw materials, was easily accessible from Japanese-controlled Manchuria and Korea, and after June 1941 was committed in the west. For that matter, why didn't Russia invade Japanese-controlled Manchuria and Korea after 1944, when it was clearly capable of doing so without undermining the effort against Germany?

There is a great deal of literature on this. If you're interested, start with Gerhard Weinberg's Visions of Victory: The Hopes of Eight World War Two Leaders.

02Pilot
02Pilot UberDork
6/30/22 7:44 a.m.

Ukraine has retaken Snake Island (or at least the Russians are gone). This has some interesting implications, but in the short-term is probably primarily a propaganda victory for Ukraine. The Russians probably figured out that continuing to send valuable SAM equipment to a very small island with no cover - making it relatively easy for the Ukrainians to destroy - was hurting their defensive capabilities in other areas.

eastsideTim
eastsideTim UltimaDork
6/30/22 8:17 a.m.

In reply to 02Pilot :

From that link, I saw it was a "goodwill gesture" on the part of the Russians.  Maybe it was a goodwill gesture toward their own troops, who probably know a posting there is effectively their death warrant.

I also saw in that link the Bernie Ecclestone said he thought Putin was a "first-class person", as if we needed even more reason to think poorly of Putin.

frenchyd
frenchyd MegaDork
6/30/22 8:17 a.m.
02Pilot said:
frenchyd said:
02Pilot said:

In reply to frenchyd :

What is China's desired end-state here? They have no reason to want to overthrow Putin, and they have no reason to want to start an unnecessary war at a time when the CCP is facing increasing domestic pressures due to demographics and a slowing economy. Are you suggesting that China is somehow going to engineering a replacement for Putin who is a Chinese puppet? Other than that highly unlikely scenario, I cannot envision an outcome that is beneficial to China's leadership.

I'm not going to speculate on health rumors that have no objective evidentiary basis. The intel community may know something, but they aren't saying, and there's nothing remotely concrete in the open source press.

The same as Hitler during WW2. Land grab.  While China is roughly the same size as the US, they have almost no natural resources to capitalize on. 
     One way to control a population is to be in a war.   Loyalty  to your country overlooks a lot of flaws. With China's control of the media they can spin any story they want.  
    Normally I would be repulsed by such talk.   I'm suggesting that China become nothing more than a thief.  
However it would be a thief that benefits China, and the rest of the world by putting an end to Russia's  invasion of the Ukraine.

      Eliminating a potential global starvation issue, and maybe even discourages other potentially militant nations from following Russia's lead. 
  The worst outcome would be for Russia to succeed even to a modest degree. 
 Then we would be right back to what WW2 was really all about. •••• You have something I want so my military will take it from you. 

This is a vast and misleading oversimplification of the origins of the Second World War. Country by country, you can establish discrete objectives considered necessary for national survival and growth by the people in charge, based upon documented historical and contemporary circumstances. Grabbing land for the sake of grabbing land achieves nothing; if it were as simple as that, why didn't Germany invade Sweden after taking Norway? Sweden had raw materials important to German industry. Why didn't Japan invade Russia? It too had raw materials, was easily accessible from Japanese-controlled Manchuria and Korea, and after June 1941 was committed in the west. For that matter, why didn't Russia invade Japanese-controlled Manchuria and Korea after 1944, when it was clearly capable of doing so without undermining the effort against Germany?

There is a great deal of literature on this. If you're interested, start with Gerhard Weinberg's Visions of Victory: The Hopes of Eight World War Two Leaders.

Yes I am over simplifying the Axis goals in WW2 for the sake of Brevity.  But read Mein Kampf  and his goals are clearly laid out and why.  
 Germany Japan and Italy  attacked where they thought  opposition was weak ( and it was )  

 The only reason they weren't successful in their goals is FDR could see beyond appeasement and choose to support the Allies in spite of the America first movements.  
  The Russia/Japan conflict over Manchuria was Russia cautious after getting its butt kicked earlier.   By Then Stalin was already thinking Globally  and figured America  would lose as many as 1 million men invading Japan.   A weaker war torn America was his goal.  
      Ukraine's support from NATO countries without  declaring article 5 is another example of politicians getting it right.   

tuna55
tuna55 MegaDork
6/30/22 8:38 a.m.

I  haven't posted in a while in this thread, but I have still been watching and reading it, along with staying abreast of the news. Sweden and Finland will add a large local defensive capability to NATO. This has to be the exact opposite of Putin's goals. I suspect that in a conventional war, either Poland, Sweden or Finland could hold Russia at least to stalemate. Having all three as part of NATO and right there on site, golly, as long as the alliance holds, the peace could really be widespread.

02Pilot
02Pilot UberDork
6/30/22 9:47 a.m.

In reply to frenchyd :

Mein Kampf is useful, but hardly the whole story. And giving FDR credit for single-handedly winning the war is straight out of the FDR propaganda machine; not that he didn't play a role, and not that he wasn't more farsighted that, say, Woodrow Wilson in a similar set of circumstances, but it's just silly to suggest that, if not for Saint Franklin, we'd all be speaking German right now. Hell, just consider FDR's soft-pedaling on Soviet espionage (for fear of upsetting the delicate Stalin) that led to severe penetration of numerous US government agencies, with all the wartime and post-war consequences that that entails.

And Article Five has no bearing on Ukraine. Zero. It applies to member states and member states only.

02Pilot
02Pilot UberDork
6/30/22 9:54 a.m.

In reply to tuna55 :

Agreed that the additions are a significant increase in NATO's strength in the Baltic, but also consider that they come with new responsibilities, and two more sets of local opinions to contend with, as well. NATO has always been a fairly fragile thing, held together by perceived need more than anything else. Right now, there's cause for concern and thus countries are pulling closer to the alliance, but when the Russian threat recedes, I don't expect the residual fear to last all that long, especially as other crises arise in regions outside Europe. It's an extreme example, but consider how tricky inter-alliance coordination and diplomacy was during the Vietnam War, a conflict opposed by basically every NATO member outside of the US. It didn't break the alliance because the Russian threat remained and Europe was still reliant on the US nuclear umbrella to deter it, but between the war and concurrent Soviet influence operations to promote European peace and disarmament movements, the strains were considerable.

frenchyd
frenchyd MegaDork
6/30/22 11:12 a.m.
02Pilot said:

In reply to frenchyd :

Mein Kampf is useful, but hardly the whole story. And giving FDR credit for single-handedly winning the war is straight out of the FDR propaganda machine; not that he didn't play a role, and not that he wasn't more farsighted that, say, Woodrow Wilson in a similar set of circumstances, but it's just silly to suggest that, if not for Saint Franklin, we'd all be speaking German right now. Hell, just consider FDR's soft-pedaling on Soviet espionage (for fear of upsetting the delicate Stalin) that led to severe penetration of numerous US government agencies, with all the wartime and post-war consequences that that entails.

And Article Five has no bearing on Ukraine. Zero. It applies to member states and member states only.

Exactly.  Since the Ukraine is not a member of NATO, they had no obligation to go to the aide of Ukraine, the member nations overlooked that and responded anyway. Knowing that if Russia took Ukraine, it would be just like Hitler and Poland. 
      I'm not sure where you think I said FDR single-handedly won WW2. My comment was regarding dealing with the America first movement in prewar America. There was a massive pro German movement lead by Henry Ford, Charles Lindbergh, Kennedy and others. 
     Not just in America but even England  lost a king ( Edward VIII ) because of his support of Germany.   

aircooled
aircooled MegaDork
6/30/22 12:02 p.m.
02Pilot said:

Ukraine has retaken Snake Island (or at least the Russians are gone). This has some interesting implications, but in the short-term is probably primarily a propaganda victory for Ukraine. The Russians probably figured out that continuing to send valuable SAM equipment to a very small island with no cover - making it relatively easy for the Ukrainians to destroy - was hurting their defensive capabilities in other areas.

I tend to agree this has a lot more to do with Russia not wanting to be target practice anymore.  With the loss of Moskva, the Russians have very little air defense left in the area and can do little to stop attacks.

It does create a swing of air and shipping defense of course with the Ukrainians now potentially having much more in that area.  It's also a great place to put some anti-shipping missiles and some of their new fancy Harpoons that can get some pretty good coverage into the the Black Sea.  It should give them pretty good coverage all the way to Sevastapol(!)

Will it allow the Ukrainians to load bulk carriers in Odessa?   There is still that matter of the Russian diesel subs though. I am not sure the Ukrainians have any way to counter those.   Maybe the US could "loan" them some ASROCs (anti-submarine missile, basically a torpedo on a rocket).

What do you say French, you think you could locate a diesel sub in the Black Sea close enough to get an ASROC shot?  Obviously the tech has advanced a bit from your day, but MAD and sonobouys still seem to be a primary tool.

02Pilot
02Pilot UberDork
6/30/22 12:31 p.m.
frenchyd said:

...
 Germany Japan and Italy  attacked where they thought  opposition was weak ( and it was )  

 The only reason they weren't successful in their goals is FDR could see beyond appeasement and choose to support the Allies in spite of the America first movements.

...

(emphasis added)

This seemed like a pretty unequivocal statement to me.

Support for out of area operations has been a NATO practice for decades, but it is not part of the treaty in any way, merely taking advantage of interoperability and existing command relationships. Your initial statement suggested that NATO could invoke Article Five but chose not to do so in the case of Ukraine, which is not accurate; that is the point I was refuting.

Floating Doc (Forum Supporter)
Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
6/30/22 12:39 p.m.

The Russians may choose to abandon Snake Island, and attempt to play it as a goodwill gesture, but I have no doubt that they would hammer any Ukrainian military force that gets placed on the island.

Kreb (Forum Supporter)
Kreb (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
6/30/22 1:48 p.m.

In reply to Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) :

It's a small island and whoever is there is a sitting duck. But does Russia have the capability to hammer the island at this point? It's a long way from Russian controlled territory and Russia's smart weapons are in question, so it'd come down to their navy.

aircooled
aircooled MegaDork
6/30/22 1:58 p.m.

They can attack it with cruise missiles (which they might not have that many of).  I don't think their navy has any interest in testing the anti-ship missiles that will soon be there (or the ones near Odessa). They haven't faired so well against them up to this point!

I suspect it's not worth them bothering much with it at this point since it doesn't present much of an offensive threat, other than keeping the Russian navy out of the western Black Sea.  They clearly have given up on taking Odessa so not a lot of reason for the navy to be in the area.

californiamilleghia
californiamilleghia UltraDork
6/30/22 2:11 p.m.

How many mines are there that are keeping the wheat shipment from moving .

and who has the equipment to remove the mines .

02Pilot
02Pilot UberDork
6/30/22 2:13 p.m.

In reply to Kreb (Forum Supporter) :

The question is what Ukraine gains from occupying Snake Island versus leaving it empty for the moment. Sure, it could emplace SSGMs and SAMs there, but then there's the same problem that the Russians faced. Russia seems to have plenty of Kalibers to lob at ground targets; the problem they're having is that they can only safely use them from their submarines, and each Kilo boat only carries four, so lots of going back to port to rearm. The geography is important; Snake Island is only 22 miles off the coast. Is the exposure worth the extra reach for Ukraine's SSGMs? I don't know that it is. It's ~165 miles to Sevastopol; I don't know which versions of the Harpoon Ukraine was given, but even the longest-ranged variants are going to fall short. I can see putting small assets that have a chance of survival utilizing any existing defensive structures (coast watchers with small drones, that sort of thing), but anything substantial is going to be on the surface and exposed.

The Russians have little reason to be over on that side of the Black Sea at the moment. For all the posturing about enabling grain shipments, good luck getting any commercial shipping insured to go into the mine-infested waters of an active war zone. The Russians may have lost some useful capabilities in giving up Snake Island, but regaining it doesn't really solve many problems for Ukraine.

Edit: Some of my points were made by people who type faster than I do.

aircooled
aircooled MegaDork
6/30/22 2:33 p.m.

Some more info on Snake Island:  Apparently Ukraine has positioned artillery on shore withing range of the island, which means the island would just be target practice for the Ukrainians if the Russians remained.

Or, you know... a gesture on the part of the Russians to help grain get through to poor starving people, which they really really care about. 

One of those two definitely.

 

Another data point of interest:  A recent poll 89% of Ukrainians reject seeding land to reach peace.  Of course, in reality, it's not really their call.  If the West won't support it, it won't really matter what they want.  They may keep fighting, but are highly unlikely to take any land back without a lot of western support.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/in-new-poll-89-of-ukrainians-reject-ceding-land-to-reach-peace-with-russia-11656504002

02Pilot
02Pilot UberDork
6/30/22 2:56 p.m.

In reply to aircooled :

Almost nobody, even among professionals, thinks seriously about the shape of the future peace while the war is still going on. Asking Ukrainians if they're willing to cede land now is like asking Americans if they'd be willing to give Japan the Philippines in February of 1942 in exchange for peace - it's a loaded question. As long as Ukrainians think they have a chance of winning, they're not going to articulate a willingness to compromise. Once there's some sense of how this is likely to end the military phase, then you'll see more meaningful discussion of how the peace is really going to look.

johndej
johndej SuperDork
6/30/22 4:28 p.m.
QuasiMofo (John Brown)
QuasiMofo (John Brown) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
7/5/22 7:27 a.m.

Looks like Russia has gained more ground. 

Is it me or are they simply looking to level every city they want to control to have to rebuild back better? 

02Pilot
02Pilot UberDork
7/5/22 8:38 a.m.

A quick look at the map suggests that Russia has gained enough meaningful territory to both materially weaken Ukraine in the long term, and to establish sustainable security for Crimea. This is not to say that Russia is going to look for a way to stop the fighting at this point, but that it could do so and hold territory that would justify the exercise. If it were to do so, as I've noted before, it would place the West in a very awkward position; if Putin's objective is to undermine Western unity, declaring a cease-fire in place would do far more than anything else.

As far as Ukraine, their options will increase as long as Western support continues to flow. I would think that the most strategically meaningful objective for any hypothetical Ukrainian effort to retake territory would be to push southeast from the Kherson area in an effort to cut the North Crimea Canal and threaten access into the peninsula from the north. If they could manage to combine this with a successful strike on the Crimean Bridge at Kerch, they could seriously threaten a critical element of the Russian occupation scheme. Obviously, the Russians are aware of their vulnerability here, and have certainly taken steps to harden these targets, but the Ukrainians have proven resourceful and creative.

The Russian offensive is grinding away, and can probably continue doing so for some time, but with an increasing reliance on artillery to compensate for the lack of infantry and vulnerability of armor. Ukraine will continue to fight no matter the cost - this is an existential conflict for them, fought on their own soil. Russia, by contrast, cannot continue to commit resources at the current rate indefinitely; sooner or later, they will grind to a halt. That's when things are going to get very interesting for the diplomats.

tuna55
tuna55 MegaDork
7/5/22 10:45 a.m.

Assume Russia doesn't ask for a cease-fire.

When does Russia simply run out of things to launch, and resort to large rocks? I don't know how large their cold war stockpiles are, but their conventional weapons supply has to be running thin. They basically have no industry to build more right now, and the entire world is supplying Ukraine, albeit at a slower rate than Ukrainians would like.

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