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I just made my debut on Strategic Culture foundation with an article on US suspension of the INF Treaty.

Here is what it boils down to, IMO:

However, it is with respect to the balance of power in the West Pacific that the restrictions imposed by the INF on the US – but not on China – come into play. While consensus expert opinion holds that the US still retains dominance in the South China Sea vis-à-vis China, its margin of superiority is shrinking year by year. In a 2015 report, the RAND Corporation estimated that the number of US air wings required to defeat a surge of attacking Chinese aircraft over Taiwan increased from just a couple in 1996 to 30 by 2017. In a subsequent report released in the following year, we see the balance of power in potential China-US conflict scenarios shift from a terminal Chinese disadvantage in 1996, to parity over Taiwan by 2017 (though they believe that the US still holds a decisive advantage in a conflict over the Spratly Islands). Even so, it is especially notable that the only two categories in a conflict over Taiwan in which RAND now considers China to hold an advantage – “Chinese attacks on air bases” and “Chinese anti-surface warfare” – are both spheres in which intermediate-range ballistic missiles would play an important role. This is not just my supposition. In another 2016 RAND report, tellingly titled “War with China: Thinking Through the Unthinkable”, this consideration is stated openly and forthrightly: “US land-based missiles from 500 km to 5,500 km are prohibited by the INF treaty, whereas the Chinese missiles are not, giving China a significant advantage.”

Between blogging here (which takes absolute priority relative to any other venues), getting serious about writing a book, and my research job, I don’t expect to have time for regular contributions. But you can expect to see my Russia-related stuff appear there from time to time. I’ll be sure to link to it from here whenever that happens.

 
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  1. I don’t consider Russia a threat whereas I consider China a potential threat in the future.

    Of course, all of this must be considered within the context of our neo-cons that seek to have influence all over the world, come fair or foul.

    • Replies: @songbird
    , @Anonymous
  2. I don’t consider Russia a threat whereas I consider China a potential threat in the future.

    As a Russian I consider this statement deeply offensive.

    • Replies: @Serrice
    , @Anon
    , @silviosilver
  3. I wrote about this several years ago.

    http://www.g2mil.com/kadena.htm

    My article exposes extreme incompetence of the US military.

  4. Serrice says: • Website
    @Felix Keverich

    Quite frankly its true. Russia has immense potential and if it properly gets it act together (birthrates, economy, regathering of territory, nationalism etc) & works in conjunction with an upcoming nationalist Europe, it could easily be a leading power in all spheres again by 2100. Right now it is merely a military superpower and not an economic or cultural one.

    However it won’t be taking down the American empire any time soon, and I say that as my country’s prime Russophile.

    Unless something radical happens, China will be the main threat to US dominance in the mid 21st century. Personally I have a ‘let them fight’ attitude to it.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  5. songbird says:
    @Abelard Lindsey

    I don’t see China as being much of a threat, compared to immigration. In fact, I’d say it’s a ratio of about 10,000:1 or more, in favor of immigration.

    The ability to move people has traditionally been the key to the scope of human conflicts. During WW2, Japan couldn’t invade Hawaii, let alone California. The supply lines would have been too long. Not to mention, they were very bad at opposed landings, and had much of their manpower occupied elsewhere.

    In preindustrial times, the barbarians were such a threat to the Chinese because they had a large amount of pasturage for horses, while the Chinese did not. In fact, that is really why Taiwan is a separate today – it was difficult for the PLA to move troops into it, because it was an island.

    But with immigration, supplies and supply lines don’t matter because we refuel the bombers (passenger planes) and feed the armies. We issue much of the invading armies pay, in fact.

    • Agree: RadicalCenter
    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    , @Beckow
  6. @songbird

    In fact, that is really why Taiwan is a separate today – it was difficult for the PLA to move troops into it, because it was an island.

    Initially there weren’t enough defending forces there, but then the Chinese used up their forces for the Korean War, and then the moment passed, as the Americans gave a huge military aid to the Kuomintang, while the Chinese forces suffered terrible losses in Korea. If it weren’t for the Chinese intervention in Korea, there would now be a fully unified Korea and a fully unified China.

    Though one might argue that Mao didn’t want to take the risk of having American troops on the border while his best troops are involved in desperate fighting in Taiwan.

    • Replies: @Mr. XYZ
    , @songbird
  7. Beckow says:
    @songbird

    …with immigration, supplies and supply lines don’t matter because we refuel the bombers (passenger planes) and feed the armies. We issue much of the invading armies pay, in fact.

    Mass migration and changing of cultures have the same impact as war had in the past. Western – and other – colonialism was a mass migration to take over and live off foreign lands. You are absolutely right that on a scale of threats for any developed country (US, Europe, Australia, Canada, even Russia) mass migration is by far the biggest threat.

    An old cliche says that countries always prepare for the last war. Westerners are unable to see that nobody is coming with tanks or guns, they are simply flying in, or marching in. Then they take over and live off the new societies.

    Maybe it is caused by the new travel technologies, maybe because rich people are insatiably greedy (cheap labor), or middle class urbanites unbearably lazy (cheap servants), or because of feminism and general softening of thought in the West – it won’t matter one bit why it happened, and it will be irreversible. The morons looking over the horizont for invading Chinese or Russian armies are the real threat.

    • Replies: @neutral
    , @songbird
    , @LondonBob
  8. neutral says:
    @Beckow

    The morons looking over the horizont for invading Chinese or Russian armies are the real threat

    To be fair, anyone who is moronic enough to believe the laughable propaganda that is being pumped out is not a threat, I sincerely pity their stupidity. Here is a good example of such propaganda:
    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6666301/First-Swedish-conscripts-decade-begin-training-defeat-Russian-invasion.html#comments

    It is encouraging that the comments there overwhelmingly point out the real threat of mass migration into Sweden, I am surprised the Daily Mail has not censored their comments yet.

    • Replies: @Beckow
    , @Swedish Family
  9. Mr. XYZ says:
    @reiner Tor

    Yep, the Norks should always remember that the Chinese sacrificed the unity of their own country in order to save their skins during the Korean War.

    • Replies: @Hyperborean
  10. Beckow says:
    @neutral

    I generally discard motivations because they are almost impossible to know. If a moron believes in Lukashenka’s infantry marching over muddy hills in some Baltic backwater (any day now!), or pretends to believe it to get another smoked salmon dinner at a Nato retreat (courtesy of taxpayers), it makes no difference. The results are the same.

    I have noticed that Daily Mail is way out there – and they seldom censor. Probably a new escape valve to let off some steam.

    • Replies: @for-the-record
  11. @neutral

    To be fair, anyone who is moronic enough to believe the laughable propaganda that is being pumped out is not a threat, I sincerely pity their stupidity. Here is a good example of such propaganda:
    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6666301/First-Swedish-conscripts-decade-begin-training-defeat-Russian-invasion.html#comments

    When I did military service, some 15 years ago, officers still took pride in never singling out Russia as the make-believe enemy (“We’ve stayed neutral for two hundred years, and this has served us well”). How times have changed!

    • Replies: @songbird
  12. @Beckow

    I have noticed that Daily Mail is way out there – and they seldom censor.

    Not only the Daily Mail:

    Sweden’s first new conscripts prepare to repel Russian invaders

    • Replies: @Verymuchalive
  13. songbird says:
    @Swedish Family

    I’ve wondered if Sweden’s neutrality was really good for it. Helped make Sweden rich, which helped corrupt it, and facilitate the migrant invasion.

    Everyone always blames it on the world wars, but it is not a good explanation. Ireland was also a neutral country in WW2. don’t believe they had a draft in WW1. for a while, Ireland was in a freezer like Eastern Europe. Prosperity changed that. Maybe, not even prosperity, but global corporations.

    My mother used to help assemble no-name TVs in Dublin. At the Christmas party, the owners would actually be there. Not like Microsoft or Google, etc. now.

    The importance of the wars to history is mainly how all of the political elites of Europe, became set on their insane paths, and lost control of the situation, without much concern for the consequences. Same as today. Only Russia hasn’t done it, yet. But the US certainly has – this time it wasn’t drawn in. But maybe Russia will be.

    • Replies: @dfordoom
  14. @Mr. XYZ

    Yep, the Norks should always remember that the Chinese sacrificed the unity of their own country in order to save their skins during the Korean War.

    Taiwan is a tiny piece of land, meanwhile the Koreans had to suffer their country being split in half.

    I don’t really care about Taiwan, but I find the PRC’s complaints somewhat annoying. If they are basing their claims on the need to crush opposing ideologies, fine.

    But ‘muh territorial unity’ rings hollow considering that they gave up Outer Mongolia. At least the LARPers in Taipei claim all supposed Chinese territory.

    I think the Koreans would rather enjoy a united country.

  15. songbird says:
    @reiner Tor

    Realistically, it was over once the 7th Fleet moved in. Near the start of the war, I think. Over – at least up until now.

    IMO, for a while, Mao was a Soviet toady. He focused on Korea because Stalin told him to, the USSR was more powerful, and he thought the relationship was profitable. Same reason China ceded territorial claims to the Soviet Union. Perhaps, the Soviet Union had better claims, but that was irrelevant. Tibet had pretty good claims to independence.

    There were other reasons too. Mao had some of his own, but primacy was due to the power relationship.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  16. songbird says:
    @Hyperborean

    Outer Mongolia might be considered quite useful as a buffer state. Probably better than owning it, IMO.

    • Replies: @Hyperborean
    , @Mr. XYZ
  17. songbird says:
    @Beckow

    I feel like there is a blindness incumbent in the military. They must be non-political, and immigration has been politicized. The result is they do countless calculations about far away places, not even directly useful, while ignoring the obvious at home.

    One of the flaws of the West is that immigration hasn’t been war-gamed. Indeed, not peaceful invasion, and not even the political processes for dealing with it.

    It is not enough to prohibit something. You cannot prohibit an artillery assault. You need effective tactics and strategy for dealing with one.

    I bet NASA ran more scenarios on paper with the Apollo program than the US ever ran on immigration.

    • Agree: reiner Tor
  18. @songbird

    Outer Mongolia might be considered quite useful as a buffer state. Probably better than owning it, IMO.

    But a nominally independent state can easier carry out a foreign policy twist. I don’t think there is much of a threat for China, but there is always the risk.

    On the other hand, I don’t think Mongolia, with its 3 million population, would be hard to hold.

    • Replies: @Mr. XYZ
    , @songbird
  19. Sean says:

    This may be the first time that Russia is being used as the goat for US worries about China, but it won’t be the last.

  20. Anon[865] • Disclaimer says:
    @Felix Keverich

    This comment is why I like Russians.

    • LOL: Anatoly Karlin
    • Replies: @silviosilver
  21. Mr. XYZ says:
    @Hyperborean

    To clarify–I was talking about the Nork leadership rather than the Nork people here. Obviously the Nork people would have been much better off had they been successfully conquered by Seoul during the Korean War.

  22. Mr. XYZ says:
    @Hyperborean

    On the other hand, I don’t think Mongolia, with its 3 million population, would be hard to hold.

    Especially not if it would have been flooded with a lot of Chinese settlers!

    BTW, how many Chinese settlers do you think would have moved to Mongolia had China somehow been able to keep (or, alternatively, to reacquire) it?

    • Replies: @Hyperborean
  23. Mr. XYZ says:
    @songbird

    It would have been useful as Chinese Lebensraum given China’s extremely massive population, though.

    • Replies: @songbird
  24. songbird says:
    @Hyperborean

    In my view, it’s about two things:

    1.) Avoiding escalation
    2.) Deployment of forces.

    #2 is about as important as #1, maybe more so. Mongolia is hard to travel through. It’s big and part of it is the Gobi Desert. Hard to move large groups of men through it without supply lines. This allows China to worry more about the borders it shares with Russia, or SE Asia. Any push through Mongolia would take time, during which they could gather intel, and figure out the best way to position in order to oppose it. As well, as give them time to mobilize.

    It is not about holding Mongolia from the Mongolians. It is really about preventing a breakthrough of the frontline in a potential conflict with Russia.

    • Agree: Hyperborean
  25. songbird says:
    @Mr. XYZ

    NW China is still pretty underpopulated now, even though they spent a lot of resources on infrastructure, even a high speed train.

    • Replies: @Mr. XYZ
  26. @Mr. XYZ

    BTW, how many Chinese settlers do you think would have moved to Mongolia had China somehow been able to keep (or, alternatively, to reacquire) it?

    I don’t think it would be more than a few million. Mongolia is not very hospitable terrain, especially for ‘soft’ nationalities.

    • Replies: @Mr. XYZ
  27. Mr. XYZ says:
    @Hyperborean

    A few million would have still been enough to make Mongolia Chinese-majority, no?

    • Replies: @Hyperborean
  28. Mr. XYZ says:
    @songbird

    So is Tibet, but isn’t a lot of their territory uninhabitable?

    • Replies: @songbird
  29. Mr. XYZ says:

    BTW, Anatoly, do you think that, by courting Russia and the Norks, Trump is trying to play 666D chess with the ultimate goal of encircling and pressuring China?

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
  30. @Mr. XYZ

    A few million would have still been enough to make Mongolia Chinese-majority, no?

    I suppose so, yes. I think a conquered Mongolia would have largely Chinese cities with a Mongol-predominant countryside.

    • Replies: @Mr. XYZ
  31. songbird says:
    @Mr. XYZ

    The Soviet Union would likely not have permitted it. Other than that it would be easy to control internally. But everything must be considered in the context of the USSR/Russia. For one thing, all China’s supply lines would need to run through the Gobi Desert – not ideal.

    Russia desires a buffer state as much as China.

    • Replies: @Mr. XYZ
  32. Mr. XYZ says:
    @songbird

    What about a non-Bolshevik Russia? Would it have permitted China to rule over Mongolia?

    • Replies: @songbird
  33. Mr. XYZ says:
    @Hyperborean

    So, similar to much of the former Soviet Union–where the cities have (or had) a large Russian presence while the countryside is predominantly non-Russian?

  34. dfordoom says: • Website
    @songbird

    Everyone always blames it on the world wars, but it is not a good explanation. Ireland was also a neutral country in WW2. don’t believe they had a draft in WW1. for a while, Ireland was in a freezer like Eastern Europe. Prosperity changed that. Maybe, not even prosperity, but global corporations.

    Or the steady stream (actually more like a flood) of cultural degeneracy exported by the Unites States.

    Culture wars are the ones that matter. Lose your culture and you lose everything.

    What are needed are cultural borders, to keep out American cultural filth.

    • Replies: @songbird
  35. dfordoom says: • Website
    @Hyperborean

    I think the Koreans would rather enjoy a united country.

    The Chinese were right not to let that happen. A U.S. puppet right on their doorstep – no sane country would allow that. From China’s point of view the Korean War was a vital defensive war.

  36. dfordoom says: • Website
    @Mr. XYZ

    Obviously the Nork people would have been much better off had they been successfully conquered by Seoul during the Korean War.

    They’d now be enjoying the benefits of a birthrate that is about half the replacement level. They too could be a dying society.

    • Replies: @Mr. XYZ
  37. Mr. XYZ says:
    @dfordoom

    Better than totalitarian tyranny, though!

    Indeed, in such a scenario, Pyongyang might be the city that never sleeps and where people dance all night long!

    As for the birth rate, South Korea’s (or Soukor’s) birth rate should eventually recover as their breeders become a larger and larger percentage of their total population. Of course, had Norkor been annexed to Soukor in the early 1950s, Soukor’s breeders would have had much more available Lebensraum.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    , @dfordoom
  38. @Mr. XYZ

    I suppose the DPRK leadership is ungrateful, but considering their teachers, it is not as if they had a good showcase.

    • Replies: @Mr. XYZ
  39. Twinkie says:

    China can probably take Taiwan and inflict a significant battle loss upon the USN in any potential conflict, but it would be a hollow victory, because 1) Taiwan would be in smoking ruins (whether because of the fighting on it or the missile strikes unleashed by PRC) and 2) the USN would interdict Chinese shipping elsewhere and inflict a massive industrial dislocation on China.

    Indirect approach.

  40. WHAT says:

    >RAND RAND RAND

    Come on Anatoly, there must be better sources than that.

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
  41. Mr. XYZ says:
    @Hyperborean

    Who were their teachers? Lenin and Stalin? Someone else?

  42. neutral says:
    @Hyperborean

    I think the Koreans would rather enjoy a united country.

    Being a US puppet South Korea will eventually consist of a majority non Korean population, this being the case would any true Korean nationalist (not the fake cuckservative type) really want reunification? At least North Korea remains racially pure, so long after America truly succumbs to a brown blob there will still be Korean people around.

    • Agree: dfordoom
    • Replies: @Spencer
  43. @songbird

    What I read was that Mao had promised Kim Il-Sung to help him in case the Americans intervene, but Stalin didn’t push him to do that. In fact, when the Americans did intervene, there were negotiations with Stalin, and Stalin told Mao that actually he didn’t have to keep his promise, he (Stalin) would understand it if he broke it. So Mao jumped into the Korean War on his own. (Except that Stalin promised him to send him weapons and some pilots etc. to help the Koreans. But he was told no Soviet troops would be coming to his help.)

    Even later, when Kim Il-Sung purged all pro-Soviet and pro-China elements from his party (making himself independent) and Khrushchev complained to Mao, Mao thought about the issue but then told Khrushchev that each party leader has a right to do whatever he wants in his own country. Had Mao supported Khrushchev, Kim would probably have been toppled.

    So the Norks have a lot to thank Mao for.

    • Replies: @songbird
    , @Johann Ricke
  44. Mitleser says:
    @Mr. XYZ

    They also would have been much better off if their leadership had retained control of what they had conquered in the South.

    • Replies: @Mr. XYZ
  45. @for-the-record

    With about 20,000 active personnel, the Swedish army has recovered from its 2013 low of 16,000, when the then Supreme Commander estimated that Sweden could hold off an invader for at best a week.

    It is still a tiny fraction of what it was in the early 1960s though, when the country could in theory call on 800,000 trained armed forces personnel.

    The plan is to gradually build up the number of young people conscripted, with 4,200 next year, 5,000 in 2020, and 8,000 between 2022 and 2025.

    “Every country needs to have the capacity to defend itself and in Sweden we neglected that for some time,” Col. Stennabb says. “And now we have woken up again.”

    The Telegraph article is much more nuanced and permits one to read between the lines quite easily.
    The military are using the Russian threat nonsense to build up the number of reservists – most conscripts will join the reserve on leaving.
    This will increase the military’s capacity to defend Sweden against internal or external threats. As Russia has no interest in invading Sweden, that can only mean internal threats. One view is that the military will be used by the political establishment to crack down on the Sweden Democrats and similar dissenters.
    Another view is that at least some officers are aware of the very real threat caused by Muslim and other 3rd World immigrants and want more manpower to deal with it.
    Time will tell whether either view is correct.

  46. songbird says:
    @reiner Tor

    Definitely. Stalin wasn’t crazy enough to send over a million men into Korea to fight the US. One figure I’ve come across says 3 million. Possibly a Chinese lie.

    Korea really demonstrated how important population size is.

  47. Anonymous[392] • Disclaimer says:
    @Abelard Lindsey

    Oh really?

    Do you think the government cares for the opinions of its peasents?

    To the elites, Russia is a huge threat because they control the Heartland. Read Mackinder. The elites do not want Asia and Europe united and Russia is THE bridge between continents.

    In reality, neither Russia nor China are real threats to America. China is an economic rival but so is Japan and Germany.

    The real threat to America is Mexico for immigration reasons.

  48. songbird says:
    @dfordoom

    I agree culture is important as a barrier to negative memes.

    But not sure if Hollywood is necessary to spread degeneracy. The film industry in Europe makes a lot of it, like “The Intouchables” now being remade in Hollywood. Maybe, it is a circle, and they were influenced by Hollywood to make the film. But I think they would have done so eventually anyway.

    At most, I think Hollywood represents about 10-15 years of degeneracy acceleration. Most of the same people would have set up in Europe anyway. Maybe that is why Hispanic media tends to be more conservative – Mexico City is not as desirable a location to move to.

    If I were the Chinese, I would put more resources into combating Hollywood. Better focus than trying to get more aircraft carriers, IMO

  49. donnyess says: • Website

    I think the ABM or INF or red button resets were just mind tool agreements to flake out the Russian leadership…NATO develops the missile tech and is now ready to deploy…point the nuclear gun at Putins head. If NATO starts the carve-up of the Russian far east?…might require pointing a nuclear gun at the head of the Chinese too. Maybe NATO will move to get substantial control over Chinese oil imports. Bottom line?…Coolies wind up looking something like Israel or Japan…a tech borrower that evolves existing design and peddles it to the rest of the world…flip the beads on the abacus type thing…sure hope Putins got the Night Wolves on patrol.

  50. Beckow says:
    @Verymuchalive

    …used by the political establishment to crack down on the Sweden Democrats and similar dissenters…some officers are aware of the very real threat caused by 3rd World immigrants

    For the first all you need are a few policewomen, Swedes are very polite. And as for the Third Worlders, at the current rate of growth they will be the army, the officers might face other issues than a few drunk Ivans in a 1917 submarine.

    But they are arming, no question about it, I think they will do Finland again for future strategic depth projection. And then move on down south to Poland. Swedes love to fight in muddy, flat terrains with lots of water-ways. They could soon be in Gdansk to stop the ‘hatred‘ there. Poles have also been abusing the all-you-can-drink ollialenberry soda fountain in the local IKEA, it’s time to mobilize the Viking women warriors…

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  51. songbird says:
    @Mr. XYZ

    I think it is possible that a Czarist Russia would have annexed it. I forget whether it was Nicholas II or his father, but one supposedly had dreams or annexing Korea, Manchuria, Tibet, and I believe Mongolia. some of that would have been difficult with the Japanese in opposition and WWI being as disastrous as it was, but I think Outer Mongolia would have been relatively easy.

    China in the early 20th century wasn’t seen as much of a military threat.

    • Replies: @Mikhail
    , @Mr. XYZ
  52. Spencer says:
    @neutral

    Being a US puppet South Korea will eventually consist of a majority non Korean population, this being the case would any true Korean nationalist (not the fake cuckservative type) really want reunification? At least North Korea remains racially pure, so long after America truly succumbs to a brown blob there will still be Korean people around.

    During the last Winter Olympics the contrast between the slutty, ghetto-esque K-Pop singers of ROK vs. the traditional and elegant DPRK performers was stark.

  53. @Mr. XYZ

    Nothing is worse than going extinct.

    • Replies: @Mr. XYZ
  54. @Beckow

    And as for the Third Worlders, at the current rate of growth they will be the army

    Actually, they are doing it the clever way. They ask the youth who is interested in serving the country for basically no salary at all for a year, and only conscript from those. Moreover, they screen even these for health, physical fitness, psychological problems, etc.

    How many Muslims or black Africans want to serve Sweden for a year, when they could just do nothing while on the dole? How many of those interested will be physically fit? (Maybe blacks will be, but Muslims surely won’t.)

    Even with the most politically correct recruitment system, they are basically screening out Muslims and black Africans from the force.

  55. @songbird

    If I were the Chinese, I would put more resources into combating Hollywood. Better focus than trying to get more aircraft carriers, IMO

    Yes.

    “The Intouchables”

    These are the directors of the movie:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olivier_Nakache_%26_%C3%89ric_Toledano

    Olivier Nakache was born to migrant parents from Algeria. Éric Toledano was born to migrant parents from Morocco.

    Would it happen without American influence? Possibly. I don’t know. Neither does anyone.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  56. @reiner Tor

    There are two production companies involved, one belongs to the French billionaire Bouyges family, the other one also seems to be controlled by some French guys, I found no Jewish or American involvement.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  57. Dmitry says:
    @reiner Tor

    Toledano was born to migrant parents from Morocco…. no Jewish

    The directors will be both surely be African Jews. (poor immigrants won’t immigrate from Morocco and work as film directors).

    https://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/16/style/tmagazine/16sidney.html

    Would it happen without American influence?

    Of course. Elite countries of Europe are all much more liberal and leftwing than America, including on a cultural level.

    It’s a similar discussion to fertility rates how all the different countries are all following the same behaviour.

    On liberal topics, America is “backward and repressive”, compared to countries like Spain, Norway, Ireland or Sweden.

    You can see the future direction of the Democrat Party in America as it will be copying Sweden with around 10 year lag.
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-14038419

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  58. Dmitry says:
    @Serrice

    China still cannot manufacture even their own jet engines (they have to buy or unsuccessfully reverse engineer Russian designs).

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  59. Mikhail says: • Website
    @songbird

    Following the Russo-Japanese War, any such view in Russia had significantly diminished, on the basis of a practical opinion that such an additional land acquisition could lead to problems, in conjunction with Russia facing other issues.

    • Replies: @songbird
  60. Mr. XYZ says:
    @reiner Tor

    Please see my last paragraph in the post above.

  61. songbird says:
    @Mikhail

    Within Russia, there was an elite push towards war on the eve of WW1. If they considered the prospect of war with Austria-Hungary and Germany so lightly, even if potentially with allies, it makes me think they would not have thought much about China. Japan would have reached an accommodation, IMO, allowing relatively easy conquest of Outer Mongolia.

    In the same position, I think the US would have conquered it.

  62. @Mr. XYZ

    That’s *obviously* what is happening and I think I’ve said as much over the past two years.

    I mean you have people like Kissinger pushing for this very actively.

    However, the deterioration of US-Russia relations has evidently assumed runaway characteristics means, meaning that there is very little that the US can to entice Russia into such a scheme and no credible promises that it can give. Moreover, a significant percentage of the American elite seems to think that Russia is a gas station with nukes [insert trope of your choice] that will fall apart sooner or later anyway and be forced to sign up as a US ally to safeguard itself from Chinese encroachment. (George Friedman’s The Next 100 Years is a classic example of such thinking).

    • Replies: @Mr. XYZ
  63. @WHAT

    Not aware of any other serious outfits that semi-regularly model US-China and NATO-Russia potential wars (and whose biases can’t really be called Americanotriumphalist).

    But I’d be happy to hear of them if you have suggestions.

  64. Mr. XYZ says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    Agreed with your analysis of this situation.

    BTW, I don’t think that the current US-Russia neo-Cold War was actually planned in advance by either side. As late as 2012, Obama was ridiculing Romney for calling Russia our biggest geopolitical threat. (Plus, there was also that hot mic incident in 2012 where Obama told Medvedev to tell Putin that he’d have more flexibility on things such as missile negotiations after he will get reelected.) Early on in his Presidency, Obama appears to have strongly wanted to have good relations with Russia; it was the events in Ukraine which ruined everything in regards to this.

    Also, do you think that US-Russia relations would have been much better right now had Yanukovych signed the EU Association Agreement in November 2013 or if the Ukrainian opposition and protesters would have actually enforced their February 2014 agreement with Yanukovych for new elections?

    • Replies: @Beckow
  65. Mr. XYZ says:
    @songbird

    Tsarist Russia had the opportunity to seize Mongolia right after the Xinhai Revolution but declined to do so, though.

    • Replies: @songbird
  66. @Verymuchalive

    The Telegraph article is much more nuanced and permits one to read between the lines quite easily.
    The military are using the Russian threat nonsense to build up the number of reservists – most conscripts will join the reserve on leaving.
    This will increase the military’s capacity to defend Sweden against internal or external threats. As Russia has no interest in invading Sweden, that can only mean internal threats. One view is that the military will be used by the political establishment to crack down on the Sweden Democrats and similar dissenters.
    Another view is that at least some officers are aware of the very real threat caused by Muslim and other 3rd World immigrants and want more manpower to deal with it.
    Time will tell whether either view is correct.

    Your argument assumes too many hidden motivations for my taste. This new policy is easily explained by:

    (1) Sweden’s very real inability to defend its lands. Something is very wrong with your defense policy when an island the size of Gotland is left more or less undefended.

    (2) Public Choice theory. Any military, anywhere, always thinks itself underfunded and will clutch at straws to get more of it.

    (3) A real and deep-seated fear of Russia. Most Swedish opinion makers really do see Russia as a possible invader, however fanciful we find that idea over here.

  67. Beckow says:
    @Mr. XYZ

    …I don’t think that the current US-Russia neo-Cold War was actually planned in advance by either side

    They were planning other things that have inevitably led to a new Cold War. One can argue that Obama and his people were deluded, or that they got unlucky with their choice of allies in Kiev, but when they systematically planned and step-by-step executed the plan to:
    – move Ukraine into EU and Nato (everyone understands that Nato is a pre-requisite for EU in that part of the world)
    – move Russian Navy Headquarters out of Crimea and eventually turn it into a Nato base

    How they not anticipated that those steps would lead to an escalation with Russia and that escalation is bound to end up in a new Cold War?

    I have heard people argue that Maidan was authentic and that Washington had nothing to do with it. Really. Well, maybe. The question is whether a similar event on US borders would ever be considered ‘authentic’. Of course not, security people are suspicious for a reason – what could be, becomes what is for them.

    The other explanation I have heard is that Obama-Clinton-Kerry-Biden were just too stupid to understand any of it. That they were in the gas station with nukes group of morons who are too lazy to think through complicated stuff. But that doesn’t justify it – countries are responsible for what their leaders do, even the stupid ones.

    If Yanukovitch signed the EU Association – as it was with no economic or security guarantees for Russia – it would unwind differently, but would still eventually lead to a Cold War. Having Ukraine in Nato and Russian Navy in Crimea was incompatible on its face – so all of this was kind of inevitable once Washington decided that Ukraine would be in Nato.

    • Replies: @Mr. XYZ
    , @silviosilver
  68. dfordoom says: • Website
    @Mr. XYZ

    Better than totalitarian tyranny, though!

    Better dead than red! And that’s the destiny of any society that is no longer capable of reproducing itself – death. But at least South Korea won’t go commie.

    Of course all is not lost. The Americans will doubtless persuade the South Koreans to open their doors to mass immigration. And since the South Koreans have already chosen suicide they’ll do it, because once they’re all gone they’re not going to care who inherits their country. The future of South Korea is black.

    North Korea actually has a future. Whether you think it’s a great future doesn’t matter. They have a future. In that respect North Korea may really turn out to be Best Korea! 😉

    As for the birth rate, South Korea’s (or Soukor’s) birth rate should eventually recover as their breeders become a larger and larger percentage of their total population.

    Wishful thinking. Pure fantasy. The illness that is destroying the West, and East Asia, is cultural.

  69. OT: Who said this?

    “Legal immigrants enrich our nation and strengthen our society in countless ways . . . I want people to come into our country in the largest numbers ever, but they have to come in legally.”

  70. @songbird

    But not sure if Hollywood is necessary to spread degeneracy. The film industry in Europe makes a lot of it, like “The Intouchables” now being remade in Hollywood. Maybe, it is a circle, and they were influenced by Hollywood to make the film. But I think they would have done so eventually anyway.

    Agreed. I would go one better and argue, as I believe Karlin has at times, that social-justice activism is at bottom a European export. Parts of it we imported from America, such as American ideas about race and grievance hierachies, but much of it was home grown.

  71. Mr. XYZ says:
    @Beckow

    Finland joined the EU and yet didn’t join NATO. Same with Sweden. Thus, I certainly don’t see why exactly Ukraine would have had to join NATO. As AP would have said, the support for NATO in Ukraine was way too low for Ukraine to realistically join it without the events of 2014 and afterwards significantly increasing Ukrainian support for NATO membership.

    IMHO, the EU = NATO is a canard created by pro-Russian propagandists in order to justify Russia’s post-Maidan actions in Ukraine.

    • Replies: @Beckow
    , @reiner Tor
  72. Mr. XYZ says:
    @for-the-record

    Bush Jr.? Trump? Romney? McCain? Kasich? Cruz? Rubio? Obama? One of the Clintons?

  73. Beckow says:
    @Mr. XYZ

    Sweden and Finland are in a different region and their status was negotiated under very different circumstances – they have been traditionally neutral, in the case of Sweden all of 20th century.

    None of the eastern-central European countries had that option. Some of them preferred it, but they were told ‘it is first Nato, then EU’ – in that order. And that’s how it has been – you can check the process.

    I am not privy to what Washington planned. But take two facts:
    – Nato put Ukraine on the path to join in 2008 – the official line has always been that Ukraine would be in Nato
    – Maidan leaders were very open about wanting to join Nato.

    If you put those two facts together, how is it a ‘canard’ to add 2+2, and say it would be 4?

    What happened post-Maidan was a consequence of this irreconcilable dilemma. Russia acted first and all else followed in logical sequence. My point is that the people who planned Maidan didn’t think this through. Or they did and didn’t care, they wanted Nato in Crimea. Now we have a stalemate, or Cold War.

    • Replies: @Mr. XYZ
  74. songbird says:
    @Mr. XYZ

    Too close to the Russo-Japanese War. They were in a lot of debt, plus had other considerations. Later it may have been different. Though, WW1 would have had its own lag period. Maybe, there would not been a good time, before it was too late.

    • Replies: @Mr. XYZ
  75. Mr. XYZ says:
    @Beckow

    None of the eastern-central European countries had that option. Some of them preferred it, but they were told ‘it is first Nato, then EU’ – in that order. And that’s how it has been – you can check the process.

    Do you have a source for this, please?

    – Maidan leaders were very open about wanting to join Nato.

    I was under the impression that they only began expressing such sentiments after Russia’s aggression in Ukraine. Am I wrong about this?

    • Replies: @Beckow
    , @Mitleser
  76. Mr. XYZ says:
    @songbird

    Yeah, I mean, it always struck me that Russia could have captured more Chinese territory at various points in time and didn’t do so. For instance, Russia could have also demanded Inner Manchuria in 1860 and could have entered the Sino-French War on the French side in the early 1880s and thus acquired Xinjiang. However, Russia didn’t take advantage of either of these two opportunities.

    Indeed, the impression that I get is that if it wasn’t for the Russian Civil War spilling into Mongolia, Mongolia might have permanently remained Chinese.

  77. Mitleser says:
    @Mr. XYZ

    The DPRK would have been a better, more balanced country.

    The idea that a bigger DPRK would be just like the DPRK we know, but bigger is wrong.
    For instance, Seoul would be the capital.

  78. Beckow says:
    @Mr. XYZ

    …Am I wrong about this?

    Yes, you are wrong. I summarised it very clearly: both sides were very open about Ukraine eventually joining Nato (Nato summit 2008, Kiev Maidan pronouncements). That was simply incompatible with a Russian base in Crimea. End of story – something had to give. What do you think would happen if Panama tomorrow tried a ‘security alliance’ with Russia or China? How long before the canal would be back under full US control?

    If you think it is a speculation or a conspiracy, I can’t help you.

  79. dfordoom says: • Website
    @Verymuchalive

    The military are using the Russian threat nonsense to build up the number of reservists – most conscripts will join the reserve on leaving.

    This will increase the military’s capacity to defend Sweden against internal or external threats. As Russia has no interest in invading Sweden, that can only mean internal threats. One view is that the military will be used by the political establishment to crack down on the Sweden Democrats and similar dissenters.

    Seems likely.

  80. dfordoom says: • Website
    @songbird

    But not sure if Hollywood is necessary to spread degeneracy. The film industry in Europe makes a lot of it

    True, although I think Hollywood was the original source. Mind you the French have made a significant contribution to cultural degeneracy over the course of two-and-a-half centuries. The French are arguably the original source of most of the West’s problems. Hopefully a totally Islamised France will be less toxic.

    If I were the Chinese, I would put more resources into combating Hollywood. Better focus than trying to get more aircraft carriers, IMO

    Yes, definitely. Soft power (or cultural power) is in the final analysis more important than military power. China needs a lot more cultural power.

    • Replies: @songbird
  81. Mitleser says:
    @Mr. XYZ

    May 2002: President Leonid Kuchma announces Ukraine’s goal of eventual NATO membership. At a NUC meeting in Reykjavik, Iceland, foreign ministers underline their desire to take the relationship forward to a qualitatively new level.

    February 2005: The Allies invite newly-elected President Viktor Yushchenko to a summit meeting at NATO Headquarters. They express support for his ambitious reform plans and agree to refocus NATO-Ukraine cooperation in line with the new government’s priorities.

    April 2005: NUC foreign ministers meeting in Vilnius, Lithuania, launch an Intensified Dialogue on Ukraine’s aspirations to NATO membership and a package of short-term actions to strengthen support for key reforms.

    February 2010: The new Ukrainian government under President Viktor Yanukovych decides to continue present cooperation with NATO. However, Alliance membership for the country is taken off the agenda.

    https://www.nato.int/cps/us/natohq/topics_37750.htm

    And then his government was overthrown and Maidanists added membership to the agenda of their government.

    • Replies: @Mr. XYZ
  82. songbird says:

    To Mr. XYZ: Certainly could be possible. But there were more constraints back then. The Trans-Siberian Railway was a long way off. Transport was pretty difficult back then generally. Coal is much harder to transport than oil, especially if neutral ports are sealed off – as potentially they might have been.

    I wouldn’t want Xianjing – not in modern times. Too problematic a population. But I understand why the Chinese have it.

    Mongolia has a kind of odd pull, if you once look at a map of it. Only had a pop of about 650,000 in 1918. I feel like the British Empire was vastly overrated, since they did not own the birthplace of Genghis Khan. And how troublesome could Mongolians be? I mean, whatever their history is, I’m sure they are not as bad as Puerto Ricans.

    • Replies: @silviosilver
    , @Mr. XYZ
  83. songbird says:
    @dfordoom

    French literature is an interesting contrast to English literature. It is curious how much seedier it seems given that London was a larger city than Paris.

    • Replies: @dfordoom
  84. @Felix Keverich

    As a Russian I consider this statement deeply offensive.

    If it makes you feel better, I definitely consider Russian ultranationalists a threat.

    • Replies: @Felix Keverich
  85. @Anon

    his comment is why I like Russians.

    You like morally tone-deaf, menacing assholes? That’s probably best discussed in private between you and your psychiatrist.

    (Obviously nationalist pigs of all stripes love to think their country is tough and scary and that outsiders should respect and fear it, but I’m probably not wrong to imagine that a greater proportion of Russians incline this way than other peoples.)

    • Replies: @dfordoom
  86. @Beckow

    But that doesn’t justify it – countries are responsible for what their leaders do, even the stupid ones.

    That was probably not a serious thought, just something you blurted out without really thinking it through while on your way to making a larger, overarching point. But it’s particularly inappropriate with respect to foreign policy.

    Foreign policy in democracies – particularly outside Europe – is extremely susceptible to manipulation by special interests. The electorate is overwhelmingly disinterested in the subject, and democratic politicians are woefully ignorant of it. And even when democratic politicians are informed, it does’t stop them from subscribing to kooky international relations theories like liberal peace theory or Marxist/critical theory interpretations (a subset of which is feminist IR theory – sigh, God just take us now please, don’t wait, just do it), which occasionally make good points, but are largely driven by emotional needs rather than by hard-nosed objectivity.

    So it seems rather silly to me say that the whole country is responsible for the direction a handful of self-interested actors takes its foreign policy.

    • Replies: @Beckow
  87. @songbird

    I feel like the British Empire was vastly overrated, since they did not own the birthplace of Genghis Khan.

    Don’t take this personally, since you’re usually of sound mind, but that has to rank as the most autistic shitposter reason ever advanced for why the British Empire was vastly overrated.

    • Agree: Mr. XYZ
    • Replies: @songbird
  88. dfordoom says: • Website
    @songbird

    French literature is an interesting contrast to English literature. It is curious how much seedier it seems given that London was a larger city than Paris.

    French literature in the 19th century was always at home in the gutter. English literature started catching up in the 20th century.

  89. dfordoom says: • Website
    @silviosilver

    (Obviously nationalist pigs of all stripes love to think their country is tough and scary and that outsiders should respect and fear it, but I’m probably not wrong to imagine that a greater proportion of Russians incline this way than other peoples.)

    Not like Americans. Americans would never think that way.

    • Replies: @silviosilver
  90. Mr. XYZ says:
    @songbird

    Do you think that Russia made a mistake by expanding into Central Asia–especially the southern part? It had few people in 1900 but has a much larger population right now–overwhelmingly composed of Muslims and probably not the highest-IQ ones either.

    • Replies: @songbird
  91. Mr. XYZ says:
    @Mitleser

    Thanks. That said, though, would Ukraine have been able to join NATO even without a national referendum?

    Also, it’s worth noting that, while he expressed support for NATO membership, Leonid Kuchma also supported the Single Economic Space idea with Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan–something that was essentially a pro-Eurasian Union had it been allowed to mature (it sort of died after Yushchenko won in Ukraine in 2004).

    • Replies: @Mitleser
  92. @Dmitry

    Oh yes, I should have thought about it. The directors are Jewish.

  93. @dfordoom

    The rule is that nationalists love to think there is something in their people’s blood or their “national character” that makes them such fearsome opponents. So it’s actually quite true that you’re unlikely to hear this sort of talk from Americans. Americans generally prefer to be loved rather than feared. If Americans pick a fight fight with you, it won’t be just because you’re an outsider who has “disrespected” them or has gotten in their way, but because your country (or your country’s regime) doesn’t share Americans’ commitment to freedom and equality (and this is especially the case in verbal spats on the internet).

    Now you could say that, in the final analysis, the particular reasons given for going to war with you or threatening you don’t make much difference; and it’s the fact that Americans get into so many wars and issue so many threats that we should focus on. Well, that’s fair enough, but it’s a different debate. The fact remains that the bluster of American nationalists is qualitatively different to the bluster of most other countries’ nationalists.

  94. @Dmitry

    Jet engines are among the very few things Russia still does better than China. But it’s technically incorrect to say that they cannot produce them, since they have produced jet engines for several decades. I personally think this advantage is not going to last.

  95. @Mr. XYZ

    Vietnam became much better than North Vietnam because it never had to be paranoid about the other half of the country, and winning the war gave them enough legitimacy to be able to change their ways. In North Korea they have zero legitimacy outside the make believe world of propaganda and 24/7 brainwashing, so they find it difficult to relax it. They are also unable to build normal relations with other countries, for example they have to prove that they are anti-Japanese and anti-Americans to keep some nationalist credentials.

  96. @Mr. XYZ

    Sweden has been closely cooperating with NATO since the latter was founded. Finland is now also regularly participating in NATO exercises. The EU is not necessarily NATO, but there’s enough overlap, and one way or another it means that the country in question will be separated from Russia’s orbit. For example there will be high tariffs and other trade barriers with Russia.

    • Agree: songbird
  97. Mitleser says:
    @Mr. XYZ

    That said, though, would Ukraine have been able to join NATO even without a national referendum?

    If the NATO members approved their membership, they would join.

    Also, it’s worth noting that, while he expressed support for NATO membership, Leonid Kuchma also supported the Single Economic Space idea with Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan–something that was essentially a pro-Eurasian Union had it been allowed to mature (it sort of died after Yushchenko won in Ukraine in 2004).

    Like Yanuk., Kuchma was one of the Ukrainian presidents with a more balanced foreign policy, unlike Yushchenko and Maidan politicians.

  98. songbird says:
    @silviosilver

    I probably have an odd sense of humor.

    Naturally, it wouldn’t have made sense for the British to expand into Mongolia. But for a while, Russia was #2 in land controlled. Britain #1 – They were more emblematic. They had a bigger fraction of the world’s land, and both were simple fractions. I’m sure I don’t have to give the sun analogy.

    For all the grief that Europeans receive for empire, I do think it is genuinely funny that the place where Genghis was born was never part of any large European empire – I ‘m not counting warlords.

    BTW, I’m somewhat serious when I contrast them with Puerto Ricans. Both have similar in country populations. (But there are many PRs living in the States, or as it should be called abroad.). I think annexing P R was the single most self-destructive foreign policy decision the US ever made, largely due to immigration, and its secondary political effects.

    Since Mongolians are ice people, I doubt they would be 1/10 as destructive despite their vaunted history, even if herding puts them at a lower IQ than farming, as it might have. It’s a heck of a lot more territory than PR too. I’m not arguing against the status quo, just in favor of what I see as the mindset of that earlier time – expansion.

  99. songbird says:
    @Mr. XYZ

    Only time will tell. It could be that their fertility will collapse, while the fertility of ethnic Russians will vastly increase, due to a breeder transition, change in culture, and perhaps the use of technology. But it doesn’t seem likely at the moment.

    As much as people tout monarchy, many monarchs seemed completely insane, when it came to the idea of expanding their territory, without much thought to the possible ethnic problems it could cause, later on. Maybe, this required a foresight about transportation that almost nobody had at the time.

    A lot of the strategic considerations seemed to be external, not internal. Just as when the US annexed PR. Nowadays, that seems like a big mistake all around.

    TBH though, I am not well acquainted with the groups in question, other than Chechens – abominable, perhaps worse than blacks, or at least your normal variety of American black.

  100. Beckow says:
    @silviosilver

    …silly to say that the whole country is responsible for the direction a handful of self-interested actors takes its foreign policy.

    When I made that point (a wobbly one, I agree :)), I meant that a country – as an entity – is ultimately responsible for what its leaders do. Not individuals or voters, the country. Leaders come and go, elites change. What stays is the country: its people, geography, institutions, culture, economy, etc… We have become too accustomed to blame special interests, stupidity, circumstances. Isn’t some of the responsibility with the country itself, the way it is setup, the way it allows things to happen?

    People in the West are not powerless pions. They have (collectively) a lot of influence on what policies their countries pursue, what leaders they choose. They can also shape the underlying system, and they have over time. There is a substantial democracy and free speech in the West, although imperfect and manipulated. The elites and self-interested actors fear the popular will, thus the latest bugaboo of ‘populism’.

    Disinterest, manipulation, fear of consequences, ignorance – they are not externally imposed, they are semi-voluntary and within peoples’ ability to change. We have ended up in a new Cold War. My point was that even if it was not planned, it is an inevitable consequence of a specific plan that Washington (and its European allies) pursued for years in Ukraine. That specific Ukrainian initiative was very well planned and funded. In a normally functioning society there would be awareness of where it was heading, some discussion of consequences. Taking over the main rival’s Navy headquarters and placing missiles on his border is not a detail to overlook. Most of the West failed to do that. Was it just Obama’s stupidity? Was it Merkel’s weakness? Mostly. But at the end of the day, when we are living with the consequences, those are details. What matters is that the countries themselves have allowed it.

    And I mean Russia too, although given the overall geographic layout, their actions in Crimea-Ukraine are less surprising. Russia was facing a choice of a strategic collapse or doing something provocative to prevent or delay it. The bottom line is that we have all ended up in a pretty bad situation. Blaming Obama or Putin might feel good, but it is also existentially pointless.

  101. @for-the-record

    OT: Who said this? [“I want people to come into our country in the largest numbers ever”]

    Trump, in his State of the Union address.

    https://www.politico.com/story/2019/02/05/trump-state-of-the-union-legal-immigration-1148629

  102. @reiner Tor

    So the Norks have a lot to thank Mao for.

    You mean Kim Il-Sung and progeny. With the possible exception of some of the Kim family’s closest confidants, North Koreans would likely be a lot better off if the Russians had overrun North Korea and either made it another Russian oblast or installed a compliant ruler.

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