Monday, 9 March 2015

Russia again ..

I'm guessing here, but I suspect the Chechens arrested for shooting Nemtsov probably did shoot him. They are 'right' for the amateur nature of the hit - seven shots fired, only 4 of which hit the victim, only one of which was fatal. The question as to the 'why' remains; I don't believe a word of the Hebdo indignation story. Either Nemtsov was on a standing target list - and to Chechens, he was just another Russian oppressor - or the hit was 'commissioned'. Either way, Putin is in the clear; even if his minions hired the Chechens, it will never be proved and there will always be enough 'reasonable doubt' to secure him an acquittal in an English courtroom. 

Juncker's particular stupidity in calling for a Euro army may indicate his return to breakfasting well, but not wisely, on Cognac. Without political union, the attempt at economic union via the Euro is faltering. Juncker needs more than a flag and an anthem to make an army; a military command system without political union is a  non-sequitur, even more so than an economic union. Soldiers don't take orders from members of a committee. 

And finally can I commend Peter Hitchens in the Speccie for his perspicacity;
Just for once, let us try this argument with an open mind, employing arithmetic and geography and going easy on the adjectives. Two great land powers face each other. One of these powers, Russia, has given up control over 700,000 square miles of valuable territory. The other, the European Union, has gained control over 400,000 of those square miles. Which of these powers is expanding? There remain 300,000 neutral square miles between the two, mostly in Ukraine. From Moscow’s point of view, this is already a grievous, irretrievable loss. As Zbigniew Brzezinski, one of the canniest of the old Cold Warriors, wrote back in 1997, ‘Ukraine… is a geopolitical pivot because its very existence as an independent country helps to transform Russia. Without Ukraine, Russia ceases to be a Eurasian empire.’


Anonymous said...

Its an interesting one, the US taking a Hawkish position is a matter of great concern, with the EU trying to back off.
The EU's meddling in Ukraine has achieved nothing, except to destabilise the entire region.
Just shows how dangerously naive the EU's foreign policy actually is.


rapscallion said...

Concur Radders. What is interesting is that Juncker blathers on about an EU Army etc. Strangely that's what NATO is there for. Its NATO that's kept the peace in Europe since 1948, not the EU.

Indeed, given the EU's recent activity in the East, pushing Association Agreements on Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine really was asking for trouble. They forget two very important points about Ukraine. Firstly the USSR lost millions either a) try to defend it or b) recapturing it. Secondly, their Black Sea Fleet in the Crimea, Russian since at least 1703. Having all of Ukraine in the EU blocks Russian access to the Crimea and they will never allow that to happen. As ever the EU has overreached itself in its desire to expand. This time however, along with the hawkish US they have come seriously unstuck. I hold no brief for Putin you understand, but in this instance I can see why he's not going to put up with the EU's bullshit.

Bill Quango MP said...

I wonder if the EU has really thought this through?
If the EU has an army, that replaces national armies, then there is no need for NATO. So the yanks can move their stuff to the Far east.

If the EU army is just an independent EU force, whilst independent nations control their own forces, then that is just NATO without the Americans.

Either way, why would the USA bother hanging around?

Where would the EU find the extra 2-5% of EU gdp required to have a force of Nato strength without the USA?

What is the EU really asking for?

Cascadian said...

An EU army that can only work 35 hours a week, that has maternity leave for fathers, LGBT friendly washrooms at the frontline, using green energy only,using broomsticks instead of guns what a fantastic idea-every enemy will die laughing.

In the EU/NATO corner we have Clintoon/Kerry and Juncker, fresh from recent engagements in Afghanistan, Libya and Syria for the Russians Putin. Admit it you have lost before you start.

Anonymous said...

Ya know that F-35B (Lightning II) jobby, the most expensive of the three variants?

You can shoot one down with just one bullet through the lift-fan - that's the big hole in the middle is fuselage.

Some mugs will buy anything.


Budgie said...

Steve, The F35B uses a modern military engine (which is very long), so the downthrust bucket is way off the c of g. This requires the balance of the extra lift fan just behind the pilot. It is useless dead weight. But in fairness, probably no more vulnerable than the fan at the front of the Harrier or many other aircraft.

Having said that the F35 is one giant cock-up for mankind: overweight; unable to carry all its weapons in the stealth bay; program running late; enormous costs overruns; major design flaws; etc.

But then have you heard of Cameron's subtle redesign of the Elizabeth "class" where one has a steam catapult and the other doesn't? Don't get me started.