Friday, 6 February 2015

Still Ukraine

Few people are in any doubt that Putin is ruthless, despotic and capable of cruelty and oppression. However, stupid, rash or feckless he is not. To date he has only allowed a trickle of arms and support to eastern Ukraine - just enough to maintain a low level attritional combat geared at wearing down the will and resources of the Ukraine. He has the capacity and capability to take the entire Ukraine by force in two days - and as that country is not a NATO member, could gamble that the West would scream blue murder but not react militarily. But he will not do so. He will trickle enough aid to ensure that the 'rebels' creep forwards in baby steps. 

The Septics in contrast have a long history of stupidity, rashness and fecklessness in foreign policy, and Kerry's posturing over Ukraine does nothing to diminish this reputation. We may also safely ignore hawkish and provocative incitements from those safe in the continental US, far away from the actual risk of war. All of which is known and understood by Hollande and Merkel.  If the US pours in more arms, so will Putin. Death and destruction will escalate and territorial gains remain zero sum. The generals and their at-heel dags and idiots need to get back to their armchairs; guns are not the answer. 

Nor will Putin launch a strike against the Baltic mini-states, and invading Poland is as far from his mind as an attack on Japan. The has-been ex-NATO boss squeaking away trying his best to talk-up a non existent threat is just piqued because his trespass into Russia's grain fields was discovered. Yes, NATO needs to be sufficiently strong, but Ukraine is not in NATO and will never be, at least within the current borders. That's another reason Putin is ensuring the low-level conflict; whilst it's going on, not even the western bit of Ukraine can join NATO. 

There really is only one outcome; a partition of Ukraine, a new Russian - NATO border. And the sooner we get down to negotiating this the sooner the killing will stop. 


Anonymous said...

I would say, pretty much [above post] that is akin to my take on affairs in the Donbas - agree that the Donbas is really a part of - in Russia and negotiate a way out.

Though, the question is - is it good enough for the sabre rattlers and imperialist visionaries in Brussels?

Timothy Davis U.S. of frakken A said...

One thing I have notice with many European Blogs. During the Bush Administration very few Europeans had any problems calling all the worlds ills Bush's fault.

Now however most Europeans call all the worlds ills the fault of The United States. What changed? Why was Bush personally responsible but the lightbringer gets a pass and the blame is put on our whole Country?

Did not something like 75-85% of all you Europeans want Bush gone and the calmer of the seas in?

You wanted him. You got him. Is your bed made?

Raedwald said...

TD - Ukraine is primarily the EU and NATO's fault; the US merely feels obliged to assist in solving it. My point is that US foreign policy is pretty one-dimensional and has been under many administrations.

Anonymous said...

Raedwald said:

'To date he has only allowed a trickle of arms and support to eastern Ukraine - just enough to maintain a low level attritional combat geared at wearing down the will and resources of the Ukraine.'

A safe analysis and also the correct one. Just enough is the type of pragmatism that fits with a 21st century way of doing things, militarilly - the type we failed to employ in either Iraq or Afghanistan.

The SAS plan was ignored and we ended up building Camp Bastion: the hunted became the hunters, the rest is history.

Listening to John 'swift boat' Kerry you'd be forgiven if you thought he'd been holed-up in a parallel universe and didn't know about the Nuland phone converstion.


Mike Spilligan said...

While the EU and NATO get much of the "blame" from we "contrarians", I do wonder how much the USA was involved. In fact my initial position was that it was initiated by the USA, but deliberately using the EU as a catspaw, which the naïve (or is it pretend-naïve?) Baroness Ashton was only too willing to co-operate in. As for NATO, ever since around 1990 (remember the Peace Dividend?) it's been "looking for a role" - and it found one in helping to destabilise an already out-of-balance Ukraine - with the added benefit of lobbying for increased defence spending, probably on things we can't ever use.

Cascadian said...

"All of which is known and understood by Hollande and Merkel."....ahhh yes the European brains trust.

Were I to speculate, they are now on their knees begging Putin to continue pumping natural gas while Putin says hmm maybe if you pay me with gold......gulp.

You are not wrong about USA/NATO/EU smart diplomacy/appeasement however. The Ukraine shambles is a textbook example of what happens when the oh-so-clever-europeans overreach then come crying to the USA to bail them out.

Send in the European rapid reaction force I say, they would sort out johnny foreigner. The world needs a good laugh.

mikebravo said...


Your endless attempt to lump all British and Europeans into the same mindset is as tiresome as your scratched record of the whole world being useless/thick/gutless and waiting for the good old USA to bail us out.
You really should try to be more creative.

Budgie said...

Timothy Davis U.S. of frakken A said: "You wanted him. You got him. Is your bed made?" Actually that is you, old chap, we "Europeans" don't have a vote for your POTUS.

Budgie said...

Mikebravo, Very appropriate, I shall recall your words when reading Cascadian's comments in future.

Budgie said...

Raedwald, Another first class post and much food for thought.

Cascadian said...

I think you will find I am an equal opportunity critic of US politicians, Obambi, Clintoon, Kerry, Biden all have proven useless, they do however have the advantage of a depleted military to back up their ignorant rhetoric, whereas the Europeans have what? Ignorant rhetoric and the European rapid reaction force a laughable imaginary "force" whose very name is a fantasy.
Creativity when discussing the europeans is unneccessary the truth is so bizarre that sarcasm is rarely neccessary.
That Cathy Ashton should overthrow an elected government to install a bunch of nazis is the apogee of european smart diplomacy, that you now find that you have no military to backup this diplomatic disaster is planning on the scale of WW1 and WW2 preparedness and yet you dare to criticize the USA. You just don't learn.
Planning and preparation prevent piss poor performance

Timothy Davis U.S. of frakken America said...

Hmm Interesting. My comment was not intended as any insult. It was a question as to why the current foreign policy of the United States belongs to whole Country and not Obarky.

But since it was taken as an insult I will ask this question again.

There are over 185,000 dead American service men and women buried on European soil. Where are the graves of European service men and women who died saving/liberating the United States from kaiserism/nazism
located on United States soil.

I would very much like to visit one of these sites and give thanks and pay my respects.

Other than that.I "got nuthin"

Timothy Davis U.S. of frakken America said...

Even if "United States" foreign policy plays any hand in the problems between the EU, Ukraine and Russia....

Not one more dead American Service man or woman for Europe.


Get used to it. Fight your own fucking wars. Even if the "United States" stirs up trouble for Europe, fight your own God Damned Fucking wars.

Is that so hard to understand?

Thud said...

Russia's? and here was me thinking the grain fields belonged to Ukraine, with them being with Ukraines borders.

mikebravo said...

If your president and his entourage decided to send ground troops to fight against Ukrainian nationalists there would be dead Americans in Europe.
Nobody here asked for you to poke your noses into Ukrainian policy in order to continue your governments policy of Chenyism and full spectrum dominance.

Anonymous said...

Tim Davies gung ho Goddammit Yankee or maybe red neck.

What is it that, you should be asking of your own bloody government - let me fire a few pointers at you.

The constant fiddling by the CIA, destabilizing regimes and governments in South and Central America - where is the glory? Glory be, a cornucopia of disasters, bungles and cock ups - that was wreaked upon Chile to Nicaragua. But brought only, havoc north of the Rio Grande all thanks to the Washington/Langley-Virginia whack jobs. Hmmm, most of South America hates the USA - and that's a fact.

Korea we helped, Vietnam, you were begging for our help. Britain, we asked you to join us in both world wars - both times you came late to the party but both times it was voluntarily.

Let us look at Iraq and Afghanistan - how's that going then friend?

Now, unwanted and unnecessarily: you meddle in the Ukraine. What planet does this [Obama] administration come from? And on some foolhardy anti Putin crusade - PUTIN SHOULD BE AN ALLY NOT AN ENEMY.

All the while, the middle east descends into blood crazed chaos [HERE PUTIN COULD BE AN ABLE ALLY].......... [Libya too - what a fuck up that was]. As the middle east goes up in flames - FFS - it's only a matter of time before the Mecca Idolators, nutters will take on Israel.

It makes the angels, heavens and the stars weep, and how do you get on with the irony of Obummer seeking the aid of Iran to sort out Isis - honestly you couldn't make it up....American foreign policy always was and still is FUBAR.

Caused far more trouble than you think your worth and no bloody strategy to go with it.

Now do frack off.

Mike Spilligan said...

Timothy Davis at 21:51 on 6th:
You don't seem to understand that if the USA "stirs up trouble" then the ensuing war belongs to the USA. This is very much the case in Ukraine where unknown billions of US$ have been spent (and added to your borrowings) to do that - but the ongoing costs will definitely be ours - and no one knows for how long.

Raedwald said...

Don't underestimate the fear in the US of close relations or even an alliance in Europe with Russia; it's a major plank of US foreign policy to ensure a conflict of interest between Russia and the nations of Europe and to use US influence in NATO to maintain cool relations.

We may be allies, but that doesn't mean that we're allies for the same reasons.

Timothy Davis U.S. of frakken America said...

"Nobody here asked for you to poke your noses into Ukrainian policy in order to continue your governments policy of Chenyism and full spectrum dominance."

It is not "my government" Europeans had no problem labeling all the worlds ills as being caused by Bush during his presidency but some how now all the problems belong to the United States now.

Why are these problems owned by the whole Country instead of Obama.

Why is he exempt from this labeling. The ordinary citizen has no control over what OBAMA is doing yet we all share the blame when OBAMA does something you Europeans do not like.

How hard is this question to understand?

Timothy Davis U.S. of frakken America said...

Also no problem labeling something you also do not like as "Cheneyism"

I wonder why that is?

"We came late to the party"

Maybe because we did not start the wars in first place?

America was extremely isolationist in August of 1914. Had we not gotten involved in WW1 we more than likely would have stayed that way.

Had Europe not gone mad over the death of one single man......

But don't worry. Even what passes for a conservative blog in Europe, Blame America First, is all too prevalent. How nice.

"Now do frack off."

Correction. It is "Fuck Off" and I recommend you do the same thing.

G. Tingey said...

There really is only one outcome; a partition of Ukraine, a new Russian - NATO border. And the sooner we get down to negotiating this the sooner the killing will stop.
This is called: APPEASEMENT.

At the same time, you are correct in that Putin will not want to start a full-scale war, but at the same time, he cannot be allowed to get away with casual murder in Ukraine.
There is NO easy solution to this one - supplying arms to Ukraine is very tempting, but very dangerous.
Quite frankly, I'm sorry to say, the best outcome is for a couple of hundred Russian "volunteers" to be killed, & the "Mothers" movement in Russia to highlight this - that is probably the only "easy" (for certain values of easy) way out of this ghastly mess.

Sorry, but the current Ukraine guvmint are not "a bunch of Nazis" do grow up & stop believeing Putin's KGB propaganda ..
And anyone else's propaganda, either.

TD of UDfA
The USA had to be dragged, kicking & screaming into both WWI ( because the Kaiser's guvmint was conspiring with Mexico to take Texas ) & WWII ( because in spite of the threat to the whole planet, it wan't until Adolf DECLARED WAR ON THE USA after "Pearl Harbour" ) that you got involved.
It was NOT VOLUNTARY - you had no alternative.
If you are that ignorant of your own history, never mind anyone else's, I suggest you KEEP QUIET.
Not one more dead American Service man or woman for Europe.

Which is where you are wrong - because they were not "for Europe" - they were for the USA, because you were attacked or threatened with attack.

The depth & viciousness of your ignorance is truly scary.

mikebravo said...

If you need to know why I call it Chenyism read this - You could then do some reading and gain some world knowledge.

Cascadian said...

So Greg, in the EU we are all nazis now-PEGIDA, UKIP, anybody who thinks differently. It is a term that is emotive to the Russians, and a damn good reason why they do not want a destabilized government next door. Are you totally OK with the EU interfering with poll results of a sovereign country? Are Cathy Ashton and Hillary Clintoon infinitely wiser than the electorate?

On the subject of propaganda, do you think maybe you are the victim of EU propaganda and cannot form an accurate idea of what is happening? Need facts? You won't get them-how is that EU investigation of the downed civilian aircraft going? Have not heard anything, Oh my! Wonder why?

As to USA entry into the two world wars, I see you still subscribe to the view that a yUK request should override USA law and the constitution. Mentally yUK just cannot handle the idea that former colonies would not submit to the diminished incompetent imperialists. Very sad.

I think your revisionist history is very much your problem, consider if the USA had attacked ONLY Japan (as many were counselling the president) who after all was USA only aggressor. How would that work for you? No USAAF, no Italian campaign, no D-day, no African campaign, spam sandwiches for Sunday dinner. A little bit of gratitude to the USA is deserved.

Raedwald said...

Cascadian - your final point reminds me of the zitty US college boy who was recorded in Normandy pointing out to a Frenchman that the French 'owed' Americans for their freedom. The response was classic. With a withering look the Kermit said 'To you we owe nothing. To the men who fought here, and to the men who died here, we owe everything and will hold them forever in our highest esteem'

In other words, don't try to claim the credit today for the actions of generations past.

Cascadian said...

Raedwald, may I remind you I am not a resident of the USA, never have been, never will be. So I do not claim that anybody expresses gratitude to me. You might also note I said gratitude was deserved not "owed". I do however believe that the gratitude is deserved in perpetuity and not for one generation whereafter cavilling Euros try to rewrite history to cover their shortcomings.

Perhaps your reminder should be addressed to your other commentors:

"To the men who fought here, and to the men who died here, we owe everything and will hold them forever in our highest esteem"

because frankly I do not see any of that esteem, and that diminishes the memory of your father as well as all the others.

Anonymous said...

"To the men who fought here, and to the men who died here, we owe everything and will hold them forever in our highest esteem"

Indeed we do, to all Americans too, try and calm down Tim, this is not an anti USA site at all, history is the sum total of man's mistakes but by not reading history we doom ourselves: to repeat [historical] mistakes - and that's known as insanity.

BTW, I a great fondness for Americans [not of the Hollywood variety however], I retract my stupid insult - "frack off" it was petty, very dull of me, please find it in your heart to dismiss, maybe even forgive my careless crudity.

Cascadian said...

And the results from the EU brains-trust are in, Merkel is quoted:

"She added that force had not proved to be the solution in the past when dealing with Russia. “I grew up in East Germany, I have seen the Wall,” she said. “The Americans did not intervene in the Wall, but in the end we won.”

History rewritten, I swear the wall was dismantled after long and intensive negotiations by Ronald Reagan, the Pope and the efforts of Polish shipworkers-was it all a dream? In the end we (EU?) won-delusional.

In the good news the yUK foreign secretary felt he had to announce that the UK was not an irrelevance.

G. Tingey said...

You are putting words into my mouth that I have never said. Go back to the beginning & start again - please?
As for real Nazis - well - I have worked with people who had interesting tattooes on the insides of their wrists - I DO NOT NEED INSTRUCTION in this.

& Raedwald

Cascadian said...

Greg, my point was that in modern-day Europe ANYBODY thinking outside of a deluded fews idea of what is "acceptable" is a nazi. Merkel says so. Camoron likely agrees.

I am a nazi, you are a nazi, Raedwald is a nazi because we dare to think.

Nevertheless, if you were offended I have no difficulty in abjectly apologising.