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I have compared the current standoff in Donbass to a poker game. By amassing troops around Ukraine, Putin let it be known that a Ukrainian attack on Donbass would be – well, if not assuredly catastrophic, then at least extremely risky for its continued statehood.

Ukraine could raise by going ahead with it anyway. It has spent the past couple of months mobilizing its troops, and not going ahead now will frustrate its aggressive nationalists.

At that point, Russia could call – defend the Donbass and throw back the Ukrainians. But then NS2 will be flushed and there will be a bunch of further sanctions (though their impact now will be modest).

It could raise again with a full on attack through Kharkov and Crimea to encircle the Ukrainian formations in the Donbass, from Crimea to Odessa, and even from Bryansk and Belarus on Sumy and Kiev.

Or it could fold and allow the Ukrainians to conquer Donbass. That would shatter Russia’s credibility, with focus subsequently turning to Crimea and provoking internal nationalist opposition to Putin. This would be the best scenario for Ukraine and the West. But, unlikely to happen – and the Ukrainians probably realize that.

Ideal scenario for Russia would be to retain NS2, which would have the side benefit of depriving Ukraine of $3B per year (its military budget is $5B per year and its GDP is $150B). At that point, Zelensky would have to make a choice between guns and butter, since speculations about a post-Maidan economic boom in Ukraine have turned out to be svidomy hopium, as a look at the statistics will immediately tell.

The US did use the opportunity to further wreck Russia’s image in the West and to strain relations with some ECE countries to near breaking point (looks like conjuring up Russian plots has become a hobby amongst ECE limitrophes from Montenegro and Bulgaria to Czechia). Then again, Russia doesn’t particularly need good relations with them. They are uninteresting from a trade or technology transfer viewpoint. That some moneyed Russians, many of them liberals opposed to Putin, buy up property in Prague doesn’t make Czechia important to Russia (Czech delusions aside).

Zelensky doesn’t really have any good options now.

He can still attack the Donbass, and indeed the incidence of Ukrainian shelling of Donetsk has increased today after the announcement of the end of the Russian “exercises.”

He can withdraw. But then he’d be inviting challenges from nationalist hardliners. And, come the NS2-related budget crunch, some hard choices between guns and butter. Elections are coming up in 2023.

Unless it can generate East Asian-tiger style economic growth, Ukrainian military power relative to Russian will probably peak in the early 2020s. Cheap assembly work for German firms (that even the Poles shun) and NEET ITshniki are not going to generate that kind of economic growth. Russia has internal economies of scale and technological clusters that Ukraine is not in a position to replicate. By the time Ukraine gets its masses of DIY Bayraktars, Russia will have Okhotnik drones that can sweep them from the skies. No less importantly, by that time China will have increased its relative power to the US further and the Taiwan issue will be creeping to a resolution. The US has steadfastly positioned itself as an enemy of Russia ever since the end of the Cold War. There will be no end of pressure on any Russian regime to settle scores with the US when it runs into difficulties in the Pacific.

 
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  1. Please keep off topic posts to the current Open Thread.

    If you are new to my work, start here.

    Commenting rules. Please note that anonymous comments are not allowed.

  2. AP says:

    Or it could fold and allow the Ukrainians to conquer Donbass. That would shatter Russia’s credibility, with focus subsequently turning to Crimea and provoking internal nationalist opposition to Putin. This would be the best scenario for Ukraine and the West.

    This would be a temporary boost for Zelensky but a poison pill for Ukraine because it would just add tons of disruptive pro -Russian voters. Not enough to control the country but enough to keep things from getting done.

    Best outcome for Ukraine would be no war, status quo, and NS2 somehow getting cancelled after all.

    Ukrainian military power relative to Russian will probably peak in the early 2020s

    Yes, probably next summer or 2023. If Ukraine would gamble it would be at that time, not now.

    speculations about a post-Maidan economic boom in Ukraine have turned out to be svidomy hopium

    No boom, but no collapse or even stagnation. Just solid but modest growth. The context of the loss of $3 billion in transit fees for Nordstream is that Ukraine’s GDP was $91 billion in 2015 and almost $154 billion in 2019.

  3. @AP


    “$91 billion in 2015 to $154 billion in 2019” sounds impressive until you look at the prior years. Current IMF projections have Ukraine hitting its 2008 GDP peak sometime in 2024. Whereas Poland, Hungary, and Romania have passed their 2008 peaks in the last few years. With its aging and continually shrinking now ~33 million population (on Ukraine govt controlled land), I’d wager that 2024 is optimistic. Ukraine will have trouble keeping its steady growth that it had in 2015-2019 in a post-Covid world where the outlook is bleak for most of Eastern Europe.

    • Replies: @AP
  4. AP says:
    @Californian Candidate

    Ukraine’s prior years included Donbas which was about 20% of it’s GDP. So subtract that from the pre-2014 years for an apples to apples comparison.

    At any rate, the post 2015 growth more than makes up for the NS2 loss.

  5. Crotty says:

    I have compared the current standoff in Donbass to a poker game. By amassing troops around Ukraine, Putin let it be known that a Ukrainian attack on Donbass would be – well, if not assuredly catastrophic, then at least extremely risky for its continued statehood.

    Putin is bluffing. He is feigning strength with this massive buildup of troops and materiel on the border with Ukraine. He is basing this bluff on the mistaken assumption that the US would not risk possibly triggering a 2-front war in the Ukraine and over Taiwan and the South China Sea.

    But what Putin doesn’t understand is that the war in the Ukraine is going to be an army based land war involving the US and NATO, while the war over Taiwan and the South China Sea is going to be a naval/air war involving the US and its Indo-Pacific allies. It’s not going to be some unmanageable 2-front war for the US. They’re 2 different theaters – land vs. naval/air – involving 2 totally different sets of allies.

    Furthermore, there would be synergies favorable to the US in a situation involving coterminous war with Ukraine and over Taiwan/SCS. The US Navy would immediately blockade and cut off Mideast energy flows to China. This means China would be dependent on Russian energy flows. But Russian energy flow to China would mean its western front in the Ukraine would be starved of energy, diminishing the capabilities of its artillery, armored, mobile forces. This dilemma for Russia and China means that they will have to retreat from either the Ukraine or Taiwan, and once one of these dominoes falls for them, the other almost certainly will as well.

    The US should call Putin’s bluff by demanding the withdrawal of Russia from its occupation of Crimea and the Donbass and by deploying warships into the Black Sea.

  6. Mr. Hack says:

    I’m glad to hear that things have settled down, and that it doesn’t appear that a full scale war is in the works. As Karlin has pointed out, a possible war between Russia/Ukraine is fraught with difficulties for both sides, with no absolute clear winner. Spilling blood during the Easter holiday season is well…evil.

  7. Aedib says:

    Merkel backed NS2 again but demanded Putin some flow of gas trough Ukrainian pipes. Putin agreed. He claimed it makes sense to sell gas to Eastern Europe via Ukraine. An agreement of a minimum flow via Ukraine plus growing flow via NS2 is the most likely scenario. Donbas will end as another frozen conflict. Donbas people will have to wait more in order to fulfill the aspiration to go to Russia. Status Quo.

    • Replies: @AP
  8. AP says:
    @Aedib

    Does not sound like a bad resolution.

    • Agree: Aedib
  9. Only Ukraine planned war, intending to occupy Lugansk and Donetsk People’s Republics. All Putin wanted is to scare imperial warmongers and their Ukie lackeys enough to make them cancel their plans. He achieved that. To keep them shitting in their pants, Shoigu announced that a lot of the heavy armor will remain in place for military maneuvers in the Fall. So, big war was postponed for quite a while.

    Unfortunately for Donbass residents, this also means that low level Ukie shooting and shelling, with inevitable civilian casualties, and marauding of Ukie occupiers in the parts of Donbass they control will continue. Still, strategic plans clearly do not include surrendering Donbass to Ukies: recently Lugansk and Donetsk People’s Republics celebrated the 500,000th Russian passport received by Donbass residents. When Putin plans to decisively cut through Ukie abscess is anybody’s guess. But cut he will.

    • Agree: Anatoly Karlin
    • Replies: @216
  10. 216 says: • Website
    @Crotty

    But what Putin doesn’t understand is that the war in the Ukraine is going to be an army based land war involving the US and NATO, while the war over Taiwan and the South China Sea is going to be a naval/air war involving the US and its Indo-Pacific allies. It’s not going to be some unmanageable 2-front war for the US. They’re 2 different theaters – land vs. naval/air – involving 2 totally different sets of allies.

    Ukraine is not a NATO member, presuming that Biden deploys troops in Ukraine, the rest of NATO is not bound to aid in the case of a war. (See: Falklands 1982)

    There is no guarantee that US allies in the Pacific would aid a defense of Taiwan. I think Japan and ROK would stay neutral for fear of economic consequences. Perhaps Australia would aid, but India would not.

    I believe the Chinese are working on pipelines from Central Asia.

  11. 216 says: • Website
    @AnonFromTN

    I was pleased to see the regime’s ships retreat from the Black Sea. In the Obama years the average US Rightist would be screaming about “showing weakness”. But aside from the MIC lobby, the base is quiet.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  12. @Crotty

    Sorry to disappoint, but the US troops won’t participate in either conflict. The US and its lackeys will make a lot of stink, but that would be it (like in Georgia war in 2008). Both Ukrainian and Taiwan military would be obliterated. If the US troops are sent to either theater, their weaknesses would be fully exposed, and that would be an inglorious end of the Empire. Crazies like you might not appreciate it, but Pentagon generals (even current inferior crop) do.

    • Agree: mal, Aedib, Beckow
    • Replies: @216
  13. @Crotty

    do you work in a U.S regime think tank? I wonder what background you have to honestly believe what you are saying. I am deeply curious.

    How viable is a two front war with two different countries on opposite sides of Eurasia?

    the war over Taiwan and the South China Sea is going to be a naval/air war involving the US and its Indo-Pacific allies.

    India, South Korea, Japan will not risk war to defend Taiwan. Those countries have no appetite for war especially at the risk of a land war. India and China get is border skirmishes but they both have nuclear weapons and are in a MAD situation. Maybe the Indians will host U.S troops and hope for the best.

    The US Navy would immediately blockade and cut off Mideast energy flows to China.

    unless the U.S navy can blockade Iran, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, there will be ample flow of energy to China.

    diminishing the capabilities of its artillery, armored, mobile forces.

    what about hypersonic missiles?

    The US should call Putin’s bluff by demanding the withdrawal of Russia from its occupation of Crimea and the Donbass and by deploying warships into the Black Sea.

    please tell me more about yourself, I want to to know in what world does such an idea even merit suggestion and what thinking process created it.

    Doing as you suggests does not serve U.S interests, Israeli interests, Ukrainian interests or the interests of anyone one Earth. That is my opinion and would like to have it tested. Can you give me an argument for who on Earth would be served by your suggestion?

  14. Not Raul says:

    Given recent news, and the anti-Russian attitude of the Green Party of Germany (which has been the case for decades), how likely is it that Nord Stream 2 is operational within a few years?

    https://www.economist.com/europe/2009/07/16/joschka-fischer-v-gerhard-schroder

    • Replies: @216
  15. @AP

    Most sources say Donetsk region was around 12% of GDP and Lugansk region around 3%. So together 15% in 2014. (One source did say 20% for both but for 2011.) Crimea is another 3%. But even if we take your 20% figure and adjust pre-2014 number down by 20%, Ukraine will hit its 2008 peak by the end of this year. Better by three years than my previous comment, but still the GDPpc and demographic reality paint a much worse picture than what is going on in Poland, Romania, Hungary etc.

    But I agree, the prospect of losing transit fees is less painful with each passing year.

    • Replies: @AP
  16. Not Raul says:

    Carlton Meyer made a good point on another thread: the NATO exercise is all for show.

    https://www.unz.com/mwhitney/flashpoint-ukraine-dont-poke-the-bear/#comment-4600081

  17. AP says:
    @Californian Candidate

    Most sources say Donetsk region was around 12% of GDP and Lugansk region around 3%. So together 15% in 2014. (One source did say 20% for both but for 2011.) Crimea is another 3%.

    Ukraine has retained Mariupol so I figured that would more or less compensate for the loss of Crimea. Even going by 15%, that would give an apples to apples GDP of $149 billion for Donbass-less Ukraine in 2013, before Maidan. Ukraine surpassed that in 2019 ($154 billion).

    Donbas was slowly losing importance, so a 20% figure for earlier years such as 2011 makes sense. It was indeed probably around $145 billion for Donbass-less Ukraine in 2008. Covid brought it down to $142 billion in 2020 but it is expected to be around $150 for 2021 and to continue growing at a decent pace.

    One interesting thing is that Ukraine’s wages have apparently not decreased as GDP has in 2020 – they keep rising. In 2020 they surpassed those of Belarus, Armenia and Georgia in nominal terms:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_European_countries_by_average_wage

    [MORE]

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
  18. iffen says:

    Cheap assembly work for German firms (that even the Poles shun)

    LOL

    There will be no end of pressure on any Russian regime to settle scores with the US when it runs into difficulties in the Pacific.

    C’mon man, we deserve better from you.

  19. 216 says: • Website
    @AnonFromTN

    Taiwan can afford a much larger military budget. For all the MIC war fever, Taiwan spends less of its GDP on defense than the US does.

    Once again, Redstan is propping up degenerate liberalism abroad for nothing in return.

    • Agree: Not Raul
  20. @216

    I was pleased to see the regime’s ships retreat from the Black Sea.

    The Empire sent British ships instead: something they don’t mind losing.

    • Replies: @El Dato
  21. @Crotty

    The US should call Putin’s bluff by demanding the withdrawal of Russia from its occupation of Crimea and the Donbass and by deploying warships into the Black Sea.

    Why? For the sake of upholding international norms? As it stands, expecting the US to seriously (not just talking points for sanctions) demand an end of the occupation of Crimea by Russia is silly. The US isn’t about to die on that hill (figuratively and literally).

    Regarding the Crimea’s legal status: The west wants to have its cake and eat it too. The ICJ verdict in 2008 on Kosovo clearly rejects the notion that recognized borders and “territorial integrity” are superseded by the right to self determination. So the 67.9% (2014) ethnic Russian majority in Crimea gets to decide. But the ICJ ruling is not required for Crimea since it was already self-determined in 1990 before the annexation by Ukraine.

    • Replies: @AP
  22. 216 says: • Website
    @Not Raul

    Depends on if the coalition is CuckDU-Greens, or a Jamaica.

    Red-red-green was possible numerically in 2013, but didn’t happen. But aside from the persecuted AFD, the SPD and Linke are the most pro-Russia.

    • Replies: @Not Raul
  23. Not Raul says:
    @216

    I’m not sure that I agree.

    Olaf Scholz, the new chancellor candidate of the CDU, is moderately pro-Russia.

    https://www.politico.eu/article/5-things-to-know-about-german-cdu-chief-armin-laschet/

    Some in the SDP, like Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, are anti-Russia.

    Christian Lindner, the leader of the FDP, seems moderately pro-Russia.

    https://www.rferl.org/a/german-fdp-cdu-spd-ukraine-russia-crimea/28661164.html

    • Replies: @Not Raul
  24. @216

    The Chinese built a gas pipeline from Turkmenistan before even discussing a deal with Russia which was previously reselling Turkmeni gas rather than its own.

    • Replies: @Not Raul
  25. Not Raul says:
    @Not Raul

    Sorry, I meant Armin Laschet, not Olaf Scholz.

    Olaf Scholz is the chancellor candidate of the SPD, and seems pretty moderate on Russia relative to current German standards.

  26. Not Raul says:
    @Philip Owen

    That supports my view that Russia shouldn’t depend too heavily on China, and should work to have good relations with Japan, and South Korea.

    • Replies: @216
  27. Listen to RT (I don’t have PervieKanal or RTR at the moment) and this was a long preplanned exercise which ended on the target date. Which means the propaganda assault about a Ukrainian build was just as preplanned. I imagine a test of whichever new president emerged from the US elections. Biden responded with a proportionate sanctions exercise of little consequence but he did respond and intelligently.

    Russian hydrocarbons are the only differentiator it has economically from Ukraine. Both are competing in agriculture. The Ukraine has much more US and even Chinese investment in agriculture than Russia. To balance teh hydrocarbons, Ukraine will be the EU offshore manufacturing base, replacing/enhancing Turkey. Ukraine will keep pace with Russia, even gain slightly as US commodity traders like Cargill and Dreyfus give Ukraine a better exporting reach. China is slowly increasing agricultural imports from Russia but it is slow and Russia isn’t helping with export taxes. Also, my Chinese pharma supply chain clients want US Dollars or Euro. The Chinese private sector is not interested in Roubles for payment. Russia must maintain its strength in Forex. Exports are necessary. There is gold of course.

    • Thanks: Mr. Hack
    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    , @mal
  28. @Crotty

    Furthermore, there would be synergies favorable to the US in a situation involving coterminous war with Ukraine and over Taiwan/SCS. The US Navy would immediately blockade and cut off Mideast energy flows to China.

    American cope. In a ME blockade, what will happen is that China will ban private automobile usage and fuel its military machine with its own oil production.

    Also, you do realize that Russia is one of the world’s big oil exporters?

    The US should call Putin’s bluff by demanding the withdrawal of Russia from its occupation of Crimea and the Donbass and by deploying warships into the Black Sea.

    US warships in the Black Sea would be like fish in a barrel so far as Russia is concerned. If the US was to seriously entertain getting involved in a Russo-Ukrainian war, they would do this through land-based airpower to contest Russian air dominance. This, needless to say, will need the consent of Poland/Romania/etc., i.e. them becoming direct parties to the conflict; as well as the actual Ukrainian military being willing and capable of attacking Donbass and Crimea.

    • Replies: @Crotty
    , @AP
  29. @AP

    I find it difficult to view Ukrainian wage statistics as credible because on any consumption indicators even Belarus tends to be considerably higher.

    E.g., residential construction – 1.5x as high in Ukraine as in all Belarus (despite 4x population differential).

    Car sales – 2x as many of them in Ukraine (100k) as in Belarus (50k). (Russia is 1.6M).

    • Replies: @AP
  30. @Philip Owen

    This is propaganda. The Ukrainian were mobilizing and intensifying shelling of Donetsk weeks before the Russian mobilization started.

  31. While the Ukraine is not going to lose all transit income when NS2 comes online, the loss of transit income would not necessarily be negative for the country.

    Gas transit income represents approximately six percent of the country’s exports, and losing the income would double the country’s current account deficit.

    Sounds bad, but it would likely put downward pressure on the country’s currency. It’s entirely plausible that the Hryvna or whatever the hell it’s called would lose a quarter of its value. This would in turn make the Ukraine an even more attractive destination for outsourcing.

    • Replies: @Felix Keverich
    , @LondonBob
  32. Mikhail says:
    @AP

    Best outcome for Ukraine would be no war, status quo, and NS2 somehow getting cancelled after all.

    Overly wishful thinking, as NS 2 is a nearly completed, German proposed and heavily German involved project, partly influenced by the problems faced with using Ukraine as a transit route. NS 2 isn’t exclusively for Russia’s benefit.

    Related:

    https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2021/04/14/cnn-blatant-disinformation-about-russia-ukraine-activity/

    Another alternative route:

    https://www.gazprom.com/projects/turk-stream/

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TurkStream

  33. mal says:
    @Philip Owen

    Also, my Chinese pharma supply chain clients want US Dollars or Euro.

    Tell your Chinese pharma supply chain clients they are in luck because we will be printing dozens of $trillions of USD and Euro in the near future. Plenty to satisfy their wants, and then some.

  34. Crotty says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    In a ME blockade, what will happen is that China will ban private automobile usage and fuel its military machine with its own oil production.

    Yes, they will divert their scarce energy into the military, immiserating their domestic economy.

    Offshore drilling in the South China Sea will be a no-go, as Tomahawks will take care of any attempts at that.

    China will have to resort to its west and drill in Xinjiang. That’s where the Haqqani network comes in. US will push insurgents from the Haqqani network to engage in guerrilla warfare in China’s west and sabotage its energy production.

    Also, Israel would get the go-ahead to take out Iran and the Mullahs. This cuts off Iranian energy to China, and gives access to insurgents into Russia’s underbelly and China’s west. Also gives access to the Caspian to harass Russia further and disrupt its energy production there.

    US warships in the Black Sea would be like fish in a barrel so far as Russia is concerned. If the US was to seriously entertain getting involved in a Russo-Ukrainian war, they would do this through land-based airpower to contest Russian air dominance.

    You want the warships to look like fish in a barrel. They’re bait intended to call Putin’s bluff. Either way, he’s screwed. If he backs off, he looks weak and gets called bluffing. His credibility gets shot. His geopolitical threats and posturing will no longer carry any weight; domestically, he will face opposition and unrest, calls for his ouster. If he engages, he’s doomed.

    US Air Force B-1 Lancer heavy bombers were recently deployed to Orland Air Base in Norway. In addition, US would use Incirlik Air Base in Turkey to base its Air Force assets. Russia would be faced with a pincer movement from US/NATO airpower via the Baltics/Arctic in Russia’s northwest, and via the Caspian and Black seas in Russia’s southwest.

    Any way you slice it, it’s checkmate for Russia. Also for China, as it would either fall quickly thereafter or be forced to retreat into a North Korean style, extreme isolationist, garrison state.

  35. Phibbs says:

    The Neocons/Jews who are in control of U.S. foreign policy hate Russia because it is friendly to Israel’s enemies (Syria & Iran); the Jews know most Russian Christians don’t like them — and who could blame Russians for disliking Jews as they were chiefly responsible for the Jewish-Bolshevist Revolution in 1917 and the plundering of Russia’s economy in the 1990’s.

  36. mal says:
    @Crotty

    It’s a long way from Norway and Turkey to bomb Ukraine.

    Also, I don’t think Ukrainians will appreciate being turned into Mosul 2017.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/2017_Mosul_massacre

  37. AP says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    Good points, but:

    Car sales – 2x as many of them in Ukraine (100k) as in Belarus (50k). (Russia is 1.6M)

    Tons of Ukrainians working in Poland (where they work legally) or Germany buy cars while abroad and bring them back. This phenomenon would seem to massively depress new car sales in Ukraine.

    https://www.kyivpost.com/business/ukrainians-buy-8-more-new-automobiles-in-2019.html

    The state was facing a completely uncontrolled mass of EU-registered automobiles, the owners of which practically did not pay anything to the budget. In addition, the situation was also threatening in terms of monitoring traffic safety, as it was almost impossible to hold drivers of those cars accountable.

    The new rules forced everyone to start clearing foreign used cars through customs. As a result, over the period from that November to January, owners of used EU-registered cars had paid $145 million to the state budget, as they re-registered their cars.

    In March 2019, over 263,000 cars still not complied with the new fiscal rules.

    Most of the EU-registered cars were imported from Poland, online data aggregator Opendatabot reported in 2018. Over 110,000 cars re-registered later in Ukraine came from Poland, 51,000 came from Lithuania, 20,000 – from Germany, and 14,000 – from Bulgaria.

    • Agree: AltanBakshi
    • Replies: @showmethereal
  38. Not Raul says:

    The Neocons/Jews who are in control of U.S. foreign policy hate Russia because it is friendly to Israel’s enemies (Syria & Iran);

    Their hate of Russia predates the fall of the Tsar.

    the Jews know most Russian Christians don’t like them — and who could blame Russians for disliking Jews as they were chiefly responsible for the Jewish-Bolshevist Revolution in 1917 and the plundering of Russia’s economy in the 1990’s.

    Russians aren’t particularly anti-Semitic. In fact, they’re a lot less anti-Semitic than Poland, and Greece.

    https://global100.adl.org/map

    Putin and Bibi have been close for more than a decade.

    • Replies: @Seraphim
  39. AP says:
    @Californian Candidate

    Regarding the Crimea’s legal status: The west wants to have its cake and eat it too. The ICJ verdict in 2008 on Kosovo clearly rejects the notion that recognized borders and “territorial integrity” are superseded by the right to self determination. So the 67.9% (2014) ethnic Russian majority in Crimea gets to decide. But the ICJ ruling is not required for Crimea since it was already self-determined in 1990 before the annexation by Ukraine.

    Correct. One reason why Ukraine never recognized the illegal seizure of Kosovo.

    However, there were several issues with the Crimean takeover. Although Russia would surely and easily won a legitimate referendum, the Crimean referendum did not meet international norms (sketchy foreign observers, lack of access to pro-Ukrainian campaigners, etc.). A lot of Ukrainians lost property for which they were not compensated. Russia also seized oil rigs that Ukraine had built, several of which were far outside “Crimean” territorial waters, for which Ukraine was not compensated (nor was Ukraine compensated for the price of the oil taken from those rigs over the years). Ukrainian military equipment was stolen. Etc. A lot of such irregularities would need to be cleared up for the Russian takeover to be made legitimate, despite the basic fact that the overwhelming majority Crimean people want to and therefore deserve to be a part of Russia.

    • Replies: @Mikhail
  40. @Crotty

    While I don’t share your strategic point of view or breezy assumptions of easy American victory, it’s certainly true that China’s oil imports are a major strategic vulnerability.

    China now imports over 10 million barrels of oil per day:

    https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=43216

    Broken down by source:

    https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/images/2020.03.23/chart2.svg

    https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/images/2020.03.23/chart3.svg

    Almost all of this oil comes by sea, and China’s oil imports alone are almost equal to Russia’s entire production.

    • Replies: @216
    , @showmethereal
    , @Crotty
  41. AP says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    Biden’s stupid move with the Navy ships was his bungling, and not indicative of the weakness of American military power. This was a good blog post:

    https://streetwiseprofessor.com/putin-calls-bidens-bluff-xi-no-doubt-watches-with-amusement/

    • Replies: @Mikhail
    , @Anatoly Karlin
  42. 216 says: • Website
    @Not Raul

    Both countries are too closely integrated into the Western bloc. While India is an unreliable partner, their usual path has been non-aligned with the West until the Modi era. Whenever a change in government, or even in BJP party leader occurs; the new leadership will probably revert to the historic norm.

    I’m not sure if Bolsonaro can be cultivated, but he has little reason to back neoliberals with Trump gone. Perhaps they can broker a settlement in Venezuela.

    The US has done a lot to cultivate SE Asian countries wary of China, this could be a missed opportunity for Russian foreign policy. The Philippines can’t afford the F-35, but might be able to afford some Russian planes.

  43. 216 says: • Website
    @Thorfinnsson

    Perhaps there is a plan for a pipeline from Iran via Afghanistan.

    That could bring the US back though, possibly with India.

    • Replies: @Not Raul
  44. Not Raul says:
    @216

    A better route for a pipeline might be Iran-Turkmenistan-Uzbekistan-Kazakhstan-China.

    There are already gas pipelines between Turkmenistan and China, and pipelines between Turkmenistan and Iran.

    • Replies: @Blinky Bill
  45. Mikhail says: • Website
    @AP

    Although Russia would surely and easily won a legitimate referendum, the Crimean referendum did not meet international norms (sketchy foreign observers, lack of access to pro-Ukrainian campaigners, etc.). A lot of Ukrainians lost property for which they were not compensated. Russia also seized oil rigs that Ukraine had built, several of which were far outside “Crimean” territorial waters, for which Ukraine was not compensated (nor was Ukraine compensated for the price of the oil taken from those rigs over the years). Ukrainian military equipment was stolen. Etc. A lot of such irregularities would need to be cleared up for the Russian takeover to be made legitimate, despite the basic fact that the overwhelming majority Crimean people want to and therefore deserve to be a part of Russia.

    The OSCE didn’t appear as observers because they said the Kiev regime needed to invite them. The OSCE took the position that the Kiev regime was the required authority to ask for such an observation. The Kiev regime didn’t give the nod because it knew the result would be for reunification.

    The referendum result looks quite accurate. A voter turnout of 83%, in conjunction with the result, suggests a clear over 2/3 majority of Crimeans seeking reunification with Russia.

    https://www.academia.edu/37358188/Michael_Averko_Consistency_and_Reality_Lacking_on_Crimea

    Looking for a fact check on some of the other claimed points in the above excerpted.

    Since their respective territorial change, Kosovo doesn’t seem to be doing as well as Crimea, with the former getting a huge amount of Western aid.

    • Agree: AltanBakshi, AnonFromTN
  46. Slavic POC are temporarily retreating to celebrate results of Chauvin trial.

    They will return to their posts in few weeks. Please be thoughtful, respectful and remember #BlackLivesMatter

  47. Mikhail says: • Website
    @AP

    Biden’s stupid move with the Navy ships was his bungling, and not indicative of the weakness of American military power. This was a good blog post:

    https://streetwiseprofessor.com/putin-calls-bidens-bluff-xi-no-doubt-watches-with-amusement/

    The Brits picked up the slack, announcing their sending of two ships after the US cancellation. Both scenarios are hot air moves, as two, three or four such ships don’t make too much of a difference.

    A more complete analysis of what transpired:

    https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2021/04/14/cnn-blatant-disinformation-about-russia-ukraine-activity/

  48. joniel says:
    @AP

    Weirdly, this boom has seen remittances increase from $5.5 billion to $15.9 billion. That is usually a sign of an increasing number of poor people.

    • Replies: @Felix Keverich
    , @AP
  49. Seraphim says:
    @Not Raul

    They didn’t fail to see the Jews who were behind the terrorists who assassinated Czars, ministers, public servants before 1900.

  50. Zelensky is not gonna get reelected in 2023. He has no power base. He betrayed his voters in the South-East, and Nazis in the West will never accept Jewish comedian as one of their own. Zelensky will be remembered as another one-term failure – all Ukrainian presidents since independence have been like this.

    Not that it matters anyway. If and when Ukrainian regime invades LDNR, the decision will be made in Washington, not by anyone in the Ukraine.

    Putin will look like an utter idiot, if Ukrainians attack now, after his withdrawal.

    • Disagree: Mikhail
    • Replies: @Mikhail
    , @AP
  51. Mikhail says: • Website
    @Felix Keverich

    They can victoriously re-deploy.

    • Replies: @Felix Keverich
  52. @joniel

    It’s a sign that there are no jobs for people in the Ukraine. Doing seasonal work in Poland was a national pasttime in Galicia pior to 2014. Now entire country works in the field/cleans toilets in Eastern Europe – Ukrainian dream.

  53. Blinky Bill says: • Website
    @Crotty

    I love your work man, when is your next book coming out?

  54. @Mikhail

    After Ukrainians demolish Donetsk, forcing every road to be crowded by refugees. I don’t understand this stupid game that Putin is playing.

    • Disagree: Mikhail
    • Replies: @Mikhail
  55. Max Payne says:

    Called it. Security crises is good business. If Russia solved it no one makes money. Which is bad fyi. Summer homes in Malta aren’t cheap…

    Only benchmark you need to look at is game changing miltech.

    Not do-nothing drones or a C2ISR trailer with a blue rocket toilet or 6 and a half Humvees. I mean real nigga shit that moves the combat up to a different level. A dozen patriot batteries. A block of F-16s. A substantial NATO naval presence (not 2 ships from a fat ass navy that pissed its pants over covid). If more space US assets have been diverted to the AO (the most significant and costly of all benchmarks).

    How does anyone entertain engaging Russia on its legit no-shit border? These motherfuckers presighted every square inch around their entire retard-large country. I don’t think Ukraine will ever be up to the challenge. Which is fine because now NATO doesn’t have to stretch its “responsibility” all the way to Afghanistan to remain a cash cow. Politicans don’t like those long flights to central asia.

  56. @Crotty

    How do you go from Israel “taking out the Mullahs” to a pro-American puppet government in Tehran? Neither US nor its allies have a land army to actually occupy the country, and no, Iranians don’t want to live under a US-backed puppet government, despite what the media in the West say.

    Americans continue to believe that they can prevail in conflicts simply by bombing enemy into submission. Every war they fought since WW2 proved them wrong. Yet this faith in the magical power of US bomber persists.

    • Replies: @Crotty
  57. @Thorfinnsson

    I doubt it. Dollar wages in the Ukraine already seem to have doubled since 2015 with no corresponding economic growth. When half the country cleans toilets in Eastern Europe, employers have to compete for laborers at home. Any benefits from futher currency devaluation will be quickly offset by wage inflation.

    • Replies: @AP
  58. El Dato says:
    @AnonFromTN

    Steaming into a standoff weapons killzone is the bestest move by Cool Britannia since they airdropped onto a vacationing SS Tank Division in 1944.

  59. El Dato says:

    Btw what happened to the bombing of the Syrian Resistance. RT quotes the Russian as “200 killed”. It would be a miracle if there weren’t a few Turkish or US consultants in the lot. A signal to Turkey to stop pining for Ukraine’s NATO membership and stop shipping them underemployed rebels?

  60. Blinky Bill says: • Website
    @Blinky Bill

    [MORE]

    Goreh to Jask Pipeline is 80% completed and only 500 km from Gwadar Pakistan.

    .

    • Thanks: Not Raul
  61. china-russia-all-the-way says:

    Neither Russia or China has done enough preparation for being cut off from SWIFT. There are no military drills but no financial war exercises for emergency use of cryptocurrencies.

  62. AP says:
    @Felix Keverich

    You are obsessed with toilet cleaning for reason. I don’t know anyone who does that – typically they do stuff like construction/carpentry, electrical
    work (what my cousin was doing) at Polish wages – Poles themselves do the same stuff in Germany or Britain. There are even Ukrainian police officers in Poland. A friend’s realtor in Warsaw is a Ukrainian girl from Lviv.

    The reason isn’t strictly poverty but that wages in Poland are 2-3 times higher and work is legal and easy to find, same reason Poles move West (not because Poland is desperately poor).

    • Agree: Rattus Norwegius
  63. AP says:
    @joniel

    Coincides with legal status for Ukrainian workers.

  64. “Russia has internal economies of scale and technological clusters that Ukraine is not in a position to replicate”

    Would appreciate more articles describing this in detail for those of us who don’t speak Russian. I have seen translated material but can’t be assured of their complete accuracy. For instance – what is Russia doing in the semiconductor space?

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  65. Mikhail says: • Website
    @Felix Keverich

    After Ukrainians demolish Donetsk, forcing every road to be crowded by refugees. I don’t understand this stupid game that Putin is playing.

    This hypothetical would more likely see the Russian government accurately say that the Kiev regime stupidly took advantage of our (Russia’s) goodwill. As the Kiev regime was about to conquer the rebel area, the Russian government initiated a humanitarian intervention which prevented another successful Operation Storm like manner.

    A propaganda victory, in the form of saying that Russia gave peace a chance

    Related:

    https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2018/01/06/croatian-scenario-shortcomings-for-ending-donbass-conflict/

    http://us-russia.org/2156-humanitarian-intervention-undertaken-in-crimea-analysis.html

  66. @Crotty

    So you honestly believe that the US and NATO want an infantry war with Russia??? That would be as dumb as Napolean and Hitler. In the long run it just doesn’t work. Where does the idea come from that Russia’s military is weak? It’s the strongest it has been since the Soviet heyday. European militaries are actually weaker in comparison. Sure the US has the assets – but to pretend it would be some easy fight in a conventional war is not sensible to me.

    As to the Taiwan/South China Sea issue – how on earth do you all still think this is 1990 and the US and allies can just blockade China at sea???? Do you know how costly that would be too the US navy? I suggest you find a neutral site that can explain the capabilities of anti ship and anti aircraft missile ranges. Then look at the totals of such weapons in each country’s arsenals. Then do the calculus in 2021 and see if you think it’s worth it. I can tell you if you research it yourself you will find that the US Navy just has more “tonnage” in the form of aircraft carriers. The only advantage the US has is in nuclear submarines. Are they going to blow up oil tankers in retaliation for US Navy surface ships and aircraft being destroyed by China’s more advanced missiles in those regards???

    As to calling bluffs – which of those two war scenarios are you willing to engage in?

    • Replies: @AP
    , @Crotty
  67. @216

    You are correct about Ukraine not being a NATO member…. But I think that is why there is this wrangling. They are trying to create a scenario where everyone is “afraid of Russia” so they will all join NATO and NATO will be fully at Russia’s door. The arrogance and evil of the plotters is astounding. What do they think Russia will do??

    I wouldn’t be surprised if the same strategy was used on the India/China border. I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if those same plotters bribed those Indian soldiers to charge the Chinese camp and start a fight. I could be wrong – but I seriously doubt the troops are that undisciplined.

  68. Ross23 says:
    @Crotty

    You haven’t got a clue what your talking about.

    Study military/ strategy first

    Crimea is considered now part of Russia because the people their are Russian.

    An attack on it would be like an attack on Moscow which would unlock its nuclear response immediately.

    Local land armies / air fields are irrelevant in the face of battlefield nukes and sending some boats in the small lake called the Black Sea would be like shooting fish ins barrel.

    • Agree: By-tor
  69. AP says:
    @Felix Keverich

    Zelensky is not gonna get reelected in 2023. He has no power base. He betrayed his voters in the South-East, and Nazis in the West will never accept Jewish comedian as one of their own. Zelensky will be remembered as another one-term failure – all Ukrainian presidents since independence have been like this.

    Zelensky’s base if political support is in the South (Dnipropetrovsk, Kherson, Odessa), not East. Although his popularity has slipped he has easily remained the most popular politician in Ukraine. Moreover, he is the only politician with significant support throughout the entire country. In a second round, he beats Poroshenko because easterners will still see him as a lesser evil and because he has significant support in the West (though currently Tymoshenko is polling better than Poroshenko). Same story if he goes against Boyko in the second round.

  70. @showmethereal

    Yes, the Russian semiconductor industry would be super interesting.

    The last time I read about it, they were designing chips maybe 6-8-10 years behind the cutting edge, mostly for Russian government and military applications, and had them produced in Taiwan. They also had some really obsolete fabs (15-20 years behind the cutting edge), but I’m not sure if they did anything or just kept them around in case of a serious embargo.

    • Replies: @showmethereal
  71. AP says:
    @showmethereal

    So you honestly believe that the US and NATO want an infantry war with Russia??? That would be as dumb as Napolean and Hitler

    Agree that USA certainly wouldn’t want an infantry war with Russia and this would be a bad idea. Disagree with the comparison of 21st century Russia with either the Russian Empire or the USSR in terms of power and military might. The current Russian borders are roughly comparable to those of the Muscovite Tsardom c. 1700:

    (compared to 1700, Russia has gained the Caucuses and Crimea and lands in the far East, but lost Kiev and the eastern half of Ukraine)

    Or Brest-Litovsk.

    Modern Russia wouldn’t be a match against a modern Napoleonic France or a modern Hitlerian Germany. Fortunately for Russia, both of these countries are shells of their former selves. OTOH China and the USA (despite some slipping) are not. Nukes are the great equaliser, guaranteeing Russia’s security.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    , @showmethereal
  72. @AP

    I can’t dispute your numbers in terms of how many cars Ukrainians buy abroad – since I have no knowledge of the matter. But I do know the reason countries put on high taxes and fees for bringing in such items into countries is to discourage the practice. Why? Buying them abroad doesn’t help the local economy… Every refrigerator or computer or car bought abroad means less local jobs.. That is not the same as buying an imported good in a local store where locals are employed there. Tariffs to encourage local production is another matter.

    • Agree: AP
    • Replies: @AP
  73. AP says:
    @showmethereal

    Yes, it’s not so great for the country. My point is that the easy availability and relative cheapness (Ukrainians were avoiding any importation taxes) of buying a car in Poland where at least a million Ukrainians are working every year and bringing it back will result in much lower than expected new car sales in Ukraine itself. It’s rather common for someone working construction for a year or two in Poland or Germany to come back with a 2 year old VW Polo or whatever. Doing so is a better deal than buying a new Chinese car in Ukraine.

  74. @Thorfinnsson

    Correct about the oil – though there are strategic reserves.

    While this report is very US centric – and makes dubious speculations about how effective Chinese sensors are… The noting of strategy is absolutely correct. As noted at the end – it’s not just close by.

    https://www.businessinsider.com/chinese-flights-around-taiwan-effort-to-improve-asw-capability-2021-4

    The second report notes that China can monitor US sub movements from Guam. The issue of course is like you said – protecting their supplies. The idea it would be easy for the US to do is definitely not sensible. Scarily for everyone that would mean all out war. Nobody should hope for that.

    https://www.scmp.com/news/china/society/article/2130058/surveillance-under-sea-how-china-listening-near-guam

    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
  75. @AP

    Well, in a sense, no great power is close to its peak in terms of military power (relative to others or relative to its economy), but Russia is not doing badly. China might be stronger, but it isn’t focusing on Russia, so it’s developing its navy and naval aviation, while a Russo-Chinese war would be predominantly a land war, and the Russian army is not weaker than the Chinese. Also of the three greatest powers, probably proportionally Russia spends the most on its nuclear arsenal, they are developing a new class of SSBNs every other decade, similar to ICBMs and other relevant means of delivery. So the Russian military would be stronger in a hypothetical non-nuclear world. (Though it would be a very different world with very high levels of military spending, so also assuming everything else remaining as it is – surely a crazy assumption.)

    Also I think it benefits from logistics. The American military (at least in combination with its European allies) would be stronger in a large land war with Russia, but initially the advantage would belong to Russia for logistical reasons.

    • Agree: AP
    • Replies: @AP
    , @A123
    , @Anatoly Karlin
  76. Crotty says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    Almost all of this oil comes by sea, and China’s oil imports alone are almost equal to Russia’s entire production.

    Absolutely. It’s just basic logistics and arithmetic. China cannot sustain an extended campaign or war of attrition because of its lack of energy.

    Russia can’t either. Because while it may have abundant energy, it lacks sufficient production capacity for munitions and materiel. It wouldn’t be like WWII when Russia had access to US production via Lend-Lease.

  77. Crotty says:
    @Felix Keverich

    How do you go from Israel “taking out the Mullahs” to a pro-American puppet government in Tehran? Neither US nor its allies have a land army to actually occupy the country, and no, Iranians don’t want to live under a US-backed puppet government, despite what the media in the West say.

    You don’t need a puppet government or to occupy the country. That would be pointless and unnecessary.

    The primary objective would be to take out Iran’s energy production.

    The secondary objective would be to provide a corridor for US backed militants such as MEK, Jundallah, the Haqqani network, Sunni fighters, jihadists, Al-Qaeda/IS, etc. from all over the Mideast into the Caspian region, Russia’s soft underbelly, Central Asia, and China’s vulnerable far west, where they can harass, disrupt, and sabotage energy supplies.

    Both of these objectives can be accomplished following Israeli bombing and decapitation strikes against the Iranian regime and the Mullahs with US drones and airpower.

    • Replies: @Felix Keverich
  78. @Crotty

    As an example of all this American military power, can you please point out an example of victory in a war in the last 75 years?

    • Replies: @AP
  79. AP says:
    @reiner Tor

    Well, in a sense, no great power is close to its peak in terms of military power (relative to others or relative to its economy), but Russia is not doing badly

    America is close to its peak, which was probably sometime in the 1990s. China has not yet peaked.

    My point about Russia is that it is in a different and “lower” category than either the Russian Empire or the USSR, it is no longer really an international Empire or a global superpower but a Russian State and regional power.* As such, it has reverted to what it had been when Peter I had ruled, prior to his grabbing the Baltics and Finland. Comparing this entity to a superpower like the USSR or a surging global power on the cusp of attaining superpower status like the Russian Empire is silly. Invoking the Red Army of World War II to show that USA, or someone else, wouldn’t stand a chance against Russia is silly.

    Given its reversion to the previous form, Russia may very well be at its peak and is improving due to Putin’s competent leadership. But it is a peaking regional power. Putin has made Russia like the Russia of Peter I prior to the victory in the Northern War. As such it is capable of crushing an ambitious, aggressive, and well-led regional power like early 18th century Sweden (is there a modern analogue? Turkey with better leadership?). Credit to Putin: Yeltsin’s Russia would not have been able to do that. But if not for nukes, 21st century Russia (without Ukraine/Baltics/Central Asia) would not stand a chance against a real superpower like the USA or past ones like Napoleon’s France. Or China if China chose to pursue land conquest.

    *Fringe minorities in the Caucuses and places like Buryatia, or largely Russified Tatars outnumbered in their own homeland don’t change this.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    , @AltanBakshi
    , @mal
    , @Wency
  80. Crotty says:
    @showmethereal

    So you honestly believe that the US and NATO want an infantry war with Russia??? That would be as dumb as Napolean and Hitler. In the long run it just doesn’t work.

    That’s why a US/NATO strike would be based on an air-based pincer movement from the Baltics/Arctic and SE Europe/Anatolia, concentrating on the Russian Federation’s population and infrastructure centers.

    Russian industry is concentrated a thousand miles east of Moscow in the Urals in places like Chelyabinsk, which would be harder for US/NATO airpower to reach. As a result, US/NATO would focus on strikes against rail depots and lines in Russia’s west to cut off industrial production from the east reaching the west.

    I suggest you find a neutral site that can explain the capabilities of anti ship and anti aircraft missile ranges.

    Easily countered by the US deploying THAAD in the region.

  81. AP says:
    @Sparkylyle92

    Gulf War (700,000 of ~900,000 troops were American), military (versus occupation) aspect of subsequent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    • Replies: @Alfa158
  82. Alfa158 says:
    @AP

    The first Gulf War was a win.
    The second two are examples of winning every battle yet losing the war. Iraq is now on cordial terms with its former enemy Iran, selling its oil to China, and waiting for the time when the US eventually complies with the standing order of the Iraqi parliament to withdraw our occupation forces.
    The Taliban now control most of Afghanistan again and will be in charge of all of it within approximately the first ten minutes of the last US troops withdrawing in September.

    • Agree: AltanBakshi, Aedib
    • Replies: @AP
  83. @Crotty

    Surely, Iran will respond and fight back against US/Israeli aggression. USA will quickly lose its Middle Eastern bases. It has no way to protect them against Iranian drones and missiles.

    US-backed terrorists will be arrested by Iran’s security services on the way to Russia’s underbelly.

  84. AP says:
    @Alfa158

    These are political and diplomatic losses not military ones. America crushed these places on the battlefield. We are not discussing whether or not America could succeed at an occupation but whether it could crush someone militarily. It can.

    • Replies: @Sparkylyle92
    , @Aedib
  85. @Crotty

    Russia has a lot of energy, but not enough production capacity, while China has a lot of production capacity, but not enough energy. This sounds like an unsolvable problem.

    Imagine if you had a lot of money, but needed a car instead. And you were in front of a car dealership, with the car of your dreams in it, but the dealership instead wanted your money. That, too, would be impossible to solve – you would be without a car, and the dealership without money. It would just be an impossible to solve problem. Sad!

  86. Mr. Hack says:
    @AP

    As I recall, Brzezinski, in his seminal book “The Grand Chessboard” (1997) made Ukraine a pivotal country to control, especially for Russia in order for it to retain its superpower status, contrary to the opinions of many readers of this blog. Do you feel that this opinion is still valid today? It often seems to me that both Russia and the US, in their competition for influence in Ukraine, validate this point of view. It’s one of the reasons that I feel that a more neutral, unaligned status in Ukraine would benefit everybody involved and relieve much of the pressure inherent within Ukraine’s dangerous position. That’s not to say that I don’t think that Ukraine needs to keep improving its defensive posture. As one wise man once said: “Walk softly, but always carry a big stick.”

    • Thanks: AltanBakshi
    • Replies: @joniel
    , @anonlb
    , @AP
  87. Alfa158 says:
    @Blinky Bill

    I wonder if the pandemic and collapse of long distance travel hurt the sales of this class of author. I always thought of this type of literature as airport books. The subjects might cover a wide range including hypothetical wars, courtroom dramas, Stephen King occult thrillers, game of thrones scifi fantasies etc. What all have in common is that they are thick and you buy them off a stack in the airport book store to keep you occupied while you’re trapped in your seat on a twelve hour international flight.

    • Thanks: Blinky Bill
  88. @Crotty

    Easily countered by the US deploying THAAD in the region.

    Easily countered by a Kinzhal, not to mention that you simply don’t have enough of them to neutralize Russia’s coastal and air defense systems.

    Regarding some of your other wet dreams in this thread:

    – The underbelly of Russia is not soft. The Chechen forces alone can easily shred any amount of terrorists that you send through the Caucasus, even if you manage to create a corridor through Iran. Russia’s goatfuckers are quite competent at waging war. Yours are not.
    And assuming that the Chechens will tear up the good deal they have in the Russian Federation in order to join your puppets and have their country demolished in the resulting fighting is a pretty naive assumption.

    – Iran has an extensive underground bunker network and friends in Russia and China, whose satellites will detect preparations for a decapitation strike well in advance. Iran will use its ballistic missiles and allies in the region to rain hell on Israel and any US bases and ships in range.

    – European armies are worthless, but even assuming that they will perform better than expected and that you will transport enough manpower and heavy equipment to start a real land war with Russia (which will take you months and the Russians will have plenty of opportunity to harass/disrupt or simply strike first and easily overwhelm all the gay land forces and missile systems currently positioned against them in places like Romania), if you somehow manage to start winning the land war, they can and will equalize things with tactical nukes. Putin has said that Russia won’t fight another war on its territory and I tend to believe him about this.

    Once the Russians escalate to tactical nukes, you don’t have a win option as you don’t actually have “escalation dominance” when things go nuclear.

    You do have nuclear escalation dominance over China though, which is the only real threat (that of course is not mentioned in your posts). China needs to realize that the US is a nation of psychopaths who can kill billions without losing sleep, and solve the nuclear parity problem with the US sooner rather than later.

    • Agree: AltanBakshi
    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  89. @AP

    Yes, twenty years ago the cold war US military crushed Iraq. And from this somebody believes we are capable of crushing Russia. I don’t know what else to say.
    Most of US land military experience since then has consisted of fake-fighting groups armed and trained by the CIA. The line combat formations have deteriorated while special forces have grown. This is like a colonial constabulary. Please refer to British experience at start of WW I for what that results in when facing a 1st tier opponent.

    • Replies: @AP
  90. joniel says:
    @Mr. Hack

    He also said that Ukraine could be as wealthy as France. Brzezinski was just a Polish Russophobe who let his ethnic antipathy override common sense. The US missed out on the opportunity of the century by not making peace with Russia and now China is going to reap the benefits that the US could have had.

    • Agree: Kolya Krassotkin
    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    , @reiner Tor
  91. @AP

    You are partially correct in your analysis, though to me Russia is much closer to its power in year 1721, than 1700, Peter never grabbed Finland, nor whole Baltics only Estonia and Northern half of Latvia, but he did conquer Dagestan, Finland was conquered century later by Alexander I, and modern Russia has a league of affiliated states in the form of CSTO and EEU, so it’s quite hard to make a direct comparison with the Russia of the past. We also should not forget the fact that Russia of 1700 had no direct access either to the Baltic or Black sea. It’s true that Peter conquered Taganrog and Azov and held them momentarily. Still even with decade long control of Azov, Russia had access only to the sea of Azov, and not to the Black sea, it was easy for Ottomans to blockade the strait of Kerch, in the case of hostilities.

    Here are the lands given to Russia by Sweden according to the treaty of Nystad in 1721. Actually Russia got less than half of modern day Latvia, Courland and Polish Livonia stayed as part of Commonwealth.

    • Replies: @AP
  92. @Spisarevski

    Easily countered by the US deploying THAAD in the region.

    That’s particularly funny in view of the fact that THAAD that the US pushed down the throat to South Korea, always learned about NK missile launches in a timely manner, from the media.

  93. Mr. Hack says:
    @joniel

    Brzezinski and his family were from Galicia and undoubtedly were not Ukrainophiles and were witnesses of the great violence perpetrated between both Ukrainians and Poles against one another. If anything, his “ethnic antipathy” would have been naturally slanted against a strong and independent Ukraine. And yet, to his credit, he was a realist and could make prognostications beyond his own singular familial interests. I’m waiting for a Russian Brzezinski to someday appear who can objectively take Ukraine’s interests to heart. So far, all we seem to get on the Russian side are Neanderthal types that can’t seem to get much beyond the imperial blackshirted vision…

    • Replies: @joniel
  94. A123 says:
    @reiner Tor

    … benefits from logistics. The American military (at least in combination with its European allies) would be stronger in a large land war with Russia, but initially the advantage would belong to Russia for logistical reasons.

    The logistics issue leads to one make-or-break question, “Would NATO Turkey support Ukraine?” They have the logistics to field 50-100K troops to that front in a reasonable amount of time.

    However, it seems unlikely that Erdogan wants to support such a NATO move. He is already committed to other locations such as Libya and Syria. Plus, he still wants to buy S-400 from Russia. Without Turkey, it is hard to see how any EU led offensive to “Recapture Crimea” would work.

    PEACE 😇

  95. @AP

    I didn’t say it was indicative of American military weakness.

    The US military is stronger than Russia globally – obviously correct. Stronger than Russia within the Black Sea theater? That is neocon hopium.

    I don’t think the incident with the warships was that relevant. Not necessarily the case that Biden even knew about them going in.

    • Replies: @AP
  96. AP says:
    @AltanBakshi

    There certainly are nuances, such comparisons cannot be a perfect match. Peter’s Russia in 1721 owned half of Ukraine and had considerable influence over PLC whereas modern Russia only has the Kaliningrad exclave and influence over Belarus while Poland and Ukraine are not only out of Russian control, but hostile.

    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
  97. @joniel

    He also said that Ukraine could be as wealthy as France.

    Based on French demographics, that prediction might easily come true:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_Senegal?wprov=sfti1

    • LOL: Anatoly Karlin
  98. AP says:
    @Sparkylyle92

    Yes, twenty years ago the cold war US military crushed Iraq. And from this somebody believes we are capable of crushing Russia.

    And someone making claims about the shabby state of the US military forgot about this completely…

    Modern US military is closer to the late Cold War US military than modern Russia and its military is to the USSR.

    Please refer to British experience at start of WW I for what that results in when facing a 1st tier opponent

    Kaiser’s Germany wasn’t 21st century Russia, and the modern USA isn’t early 20th century Britain.

  99. joniel says:
    @Mr. Hack

    Going back that far Poles, Jews, etc. don’t believe much that Ukrainians exist, but they happily adopt any ideology if they can take a crack at the eternal enemy. I’m not sure why you think they have Ukrainians best interests in mind.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  100. Mr. Hack says:
    @joniel

    A strong and independent Ukrainian state could work as an effective buffer (historically a “borderland”) between East and West. Ukraine could work as a very central transit point uniting China’s silk road initiatives, Russia’s CIS project and the EU. Why does international diplomacy today always need to be slanted in an adversarial nature? I can see the Eurasian continent offer the world a great opportunity for greater harmony and unimagined business opportunities. Is the alternative any better?

    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
  101. LondonBob says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    The Ukraine could step up the supply of prostitutes.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  102. AP says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    I didn’t say it was indicative of American military weakness

    This was more directed at some of the Russia fans than at your article. Biden “shitting his pants” suggested some sort of weakness rather than a dumb miscalculation that as you stated he might not even have been aware of.

    The US military is stronger than Russia globally – obviously correct. Stronger than Russia within the Black Sea theater That is neocon hopium.

    Of course. America isn’t in the area. Now if America moved a carrier group rather than two destroyers into the Black Sea, along with a lot of its land troops as it did during the Gulf War (probably harder to do in the Persian Gulf region than in Ukraine and the Black Sea, given that Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey and Poland are allies) it would be a different story. Global dominance can become local dominance.

    Not that America ever would or should do such a thing. Russian nukes mean these kind of confrontations and adventures should never occur, and they won’t.

  103. mal says:
    @AP

    But if not for nukes, 21st century Russia (without Ukraine/Baltics/Central Asia) would not stand a chance against a real superpower like the USA or past ones like Napoleon’s France. Or China if China chose to pursue land conquest.

    Now you are just being silly. If not for nukes… lol.

    And if not for ability to print USD and military, US wouldn’t be a superpower. And if not for numbers, Chinese wouldn’t be a superpower. Different countries choose to specialize differently, and if you selectively remove their chosen passion of course they will look ordinary.

    Americans chose to specialize in finance. Remove finance, and US becomes an ordinary country and not a superpower. Chinese chose to specialize in industry. Remove industry, and China is not a superpower, just an ordinary country. Russian passion is energy, including nuclear and rockets. If you remove that of course Russia won’t be a superpower anymore, just like all other countries.

    But fine, lets remove nukes and replace them with conventional warheads on the ICBMs. NATO ground invasion of Russia is out of the question – American logistics collapsed by 2006 during invasion of Iraq simply due to exhausting patrol requirements. Which is why today Americans just sit at bases and eat mortars and rockets that Iraqis shoot at them. Same in Afghanistan btw. Russia is a lot bigger and Russians are a lot deadlier. What is a scare in Iraq would be a massacre of NATO forces in Russia.

    Any NATO army in Russia would get exterminated due to logistics problems, just like Napoleon and Hitler etc. American logistics can’t handle Iraq, zero chance of them being able to handle Russia. Russians won’t even need to fire a single shot.

    So you have airplane and rocket contest. On air power, even ignoring the fact that most of it can’t even reach deep into Russia without airfields inside Russia which Russians will happily rocket to death, look at actual performance.

    Even if you ignore ground action and assign the victory over ISIS entirely to US Airforce, which is completely absurd, it took US Airforce 3 years to chase ISIS out of their stronghold. Three years! For a bunch of tribals and jihadists with no air defense. In a relatively small geographical area and mostly desert which is easy mode for airplanes. Again, THREE YEARS! At this rate, I expect US Airforce defeating Russians by the year 2600 AD.

    And we are back to rockets. Even if ICBMs are armed with conventional warheads, US mainland is indefensible. Once Russia starts systematically erase NYC and LA etc. city block by city block, US financial system will experience difficulties simply due to the lack of electricity and plumbing. And sure, Russian cities will burn as well, but at least they can hide in a subway and they are not as reliant on digital credit appearing in their accounts. Russian population experienced hardships in the 90’s, Americans have not such difficulties since 1865.

    Anyway, TLDR – a war with Russia will go along historical lines, for same reasons. Invading Russia is always a bad idea, no matter how weak Russia looks and how tempting.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  104. @LondonBob

    The Ukraine could step up the supply of prostitutes.

    It is doing that full throttle. What’s more, Ukraine is being amazingly even-handed in this: Ukrainian prostitutes are abundant in the West and in Russia. Russian prostitutes even complained that their Ukrainian colleagues damage their business by selling themselves cheaper.

  105. @reiner Tor

    Actually, purely in terms of land forces, I suspect the US – China – Russia are broadly equivalent. US ~1 / China ~ 0.5 / Russia ~0.33 overall, but US is the most “navally loaded”, with China now also being more navally loaded so than Russia than not yet quite as much as the US.

    However, China has much easier logistics and basically endless manpower and industrial capacity. Sci-Fi scenario: There is ~0% chance that Russia will be able to hold on to the RFE or even Siberia in a hypothetical non-nuclear total war with China. Perhaps not even European Russia, after 2-3 years.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
    , @Crotty
  106. @mal

    Invading Russia is always a bad idea

    Yep, history tells us that marching on Moscow is not a good career move. But Hegel was right: we learn from history that we do not learn from history. Once every century Europe unites, makes war on Russia, gets beaten to pulp, then whines, and then repeats the same mistake next century. Nineteenth century – Napoleon. Twentieth century – Hitler. Twenty first century – NATO?

    • Agree: mal
    • Replies: @Beckow
  107. @AP

    Arguably it was just a third of Ukraine. Black sea coast, Galicia, Volhynia, Podolia, Right Bank Ukraine, were under Polish or Islamic rule.

    Clearly in our modern day world, lands like Crimea, Kuban, Circassia, Amur and Primorsky Krai are much more valuable than landlocked Left Bank, Sloboda Ukraine and lands of Zaporozhian Cossacks. But most importantly Russia without access to Baltic and Black seas, could not have any dreams of being a sovereign power.

    • Replies: @AP
  108. Levtraro says:
    @Crotty

    That’s why a US/NATO strike would be based on an air-based pincer movement from the Baltics/Arctic and SE Europe/Anatolia, concentrating on the Russian Federation’s population and infrastructure centers.

    So here and in other comments you are essentially providing NATO’s strategic war plan against Russia and China, with WWII-style pincer maneuver and all, in this open forum, and Russophiles are replying with likely responses and counter-attacks, and all of you pretend to be taken seriously. There is only one thing we know for sure in the event of a NATO-Russia or NATO-China or NATO-China+Russia war: that all of you, your kids and family, will die, flash-fried in the radioactive heat or a bit later due to disease or famine. People in the southern hemisphere may survive longer or even simply carry on but the whole of the northern hemisphere will be decimated for sure, fantastic pincer maneuver notwithstanding.

    • LOL: Jatt Aryaa
    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  109. @Mr. Hack

    Russia was more than ready for such option, are you playing ignorant? It’s the Americans and Galicians who did their best so that Ukraine could never become a bridge between East and West. It would have been the best of both worlds if Ukrainians could have been like civilised westerners and build their nation based on compromises, just like Finns, Italians, Spanish and Swiss, but no, that chance was utterly lost. All thanks to the people like Nuland, Yatsenyuk, Turchinov etc, etc… Even Russians have made huge compromises with their minorities, as constitutions of Tatarstan, Bashkiria and Chechnya show to us.

    Do you really think, that I had such radical opinions in regards of the Ukraine before 2013? In those times I thought that Ukraine is dysfunctional and full of corruption, but now I think that Ukraine as a state is rotten.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  110. @Anatoly Karlin

    China has … basically endless manpower

    Reminds me of Soviet era joke about Sino-Soviet war.
    Chinese military reports to their Politburo:
    Day one: we surrendered 100 million prisoners of war.
    Day two: we surrendered 200 million prisoners of war.
    Day three: we surrendered 300 million prisoners of war. Let them figure out who is whose prisoner.

    In reality, though, due to totally insane suicidal imperial policy, China today is interested in friendship with Russia at least as much as Russia is interested in friendship with China.

    • Replies: @AnonZero
  111. @AP

    In 2003, when Americans invaded Iraq, Turkey was an ally, and closer ally, more integrated to Nato than nowadays Turkey, but did Turkey help? Even after USA repeatedly asked Turkey for help, Turkey said no! Do you really believe that Türkiye will risk it’s own safety for the sake of far away America? That if they denied requests for them against such minor power as Iraq, they would stand together with USA against Russia? Utter naivety. Like I have said previously, talk is cheap, and when there is no risk of serious confrontation, every bootlicker and lackey will come and support their boss, but those same hyenas will disperse wide and far when there’s a chance of a real danger, and Turkey has a real army and military, unlike Romania and Bulgaria. Turkish land forces are probably second strongest among all American allies.

    Bahrain, Saudis and Emirates are old allies of USA, so no wonder if staging forces in Persian Gulf was relatively easy, Saudis gave land access almost everywhere in their country.

    https://eu-browse.startpage.com/av/anon-image?piurl=http%3A%2F%2F2.bp.blogspot.com%2F-UYS5QYOxsFo%2FUC02JGrTUTI%2FAAAAAAAAAHI%2FnKWuV-ZYEO8%2Fs1600%2FUS%2Bmilitary%2Bbases%2BME_1.jpg&sp=1619202705T7f4b87e72f60eeaa3af2bb9bf518fa24e6c28739620243d245da71293f5745f6

    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
  112. Mr. Hack says:
    @AltanBakshi

    Actually, it looks more to me that it’s you that are playing ignorant here. D0n’t you recall that it was Putin’s man, Yanukovych, who first solidly planted the seed of EU integration within the minds of Ukrainians? He spent at least a whole year grandstanding for the EU before trying to yank the project at the very last moment, thus creating all of the chaos that ensued. And for this, Putin rewarded this disloyal creep with safe asylum? This in itself has created a deep misbelief in me about Putin as the wily grandmaster of politics and international relations. It looks to me like old Putin was asleep at the switch on this one. Big time!

    • Replies: @Beckow
    , @Philip Owen
  113. anonlb says:
    @Mr. Hack

    Brzezinski get it all wrong: China will never chalenge West, Russia without Ukraine will be second-rate power. The worst scenario for Russia is to get back Ukraine and baltic statelets. Imagine USA take Mexico, and Panama, Columbia and Guatemala as bonus. Tbis will be huge step for MAGA!

  114. Beckow says:
    @AnonFromTN

    ,,,Once every century Europe unites, makes war on Russia, gets beaten to pulp, then whines, and then repeats the same mistake next century…Nineteenth century – Napoleon. Twentieth century – Hitler. Twenty first century – NATO?

    I would add 18th century Sweden, 17th century Poland, and Ottomans with their allies on and off for 200 years. What they have in common is that these powers disappeared as powers after leading the failed attack on Russia, even France has never reached the level of dominance they had in 1812.

    21st century is the turn for Anglos; we can refer to them as Nato, but it is the Anglos leading Europe in the current attack on Russia. Again, allies are plentiful, Poles proudly on the front line, not much has changed. This attack is also bizarrely incoherent: there is no threatening army, no willingness to die, even the propaganda is luke-warm – hiding behind human rights and self-assigned virtue. My humble guess is that there are no more than 100-200k soldiers overall that Anglos have at their disposal willing to die for this dream of Russia’s conquest. Not enough. And there are those damn nukes…

    • Replies: @AP
    , @Philip Owen
  115. Crotty says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    Actually, purely in terms of land forces, I suspect the US – China – Russia are broadly equivalent. US ~1 / China ~ 0.5 / Russia ~0.33 overall, but US is the most “navally loaded”, with China now also being more navally loaded so than Russia than not yet quite as much as the US.

    In the West, US/NATO’s total population is close to a billion, with 950 million people, dwarfing the Russian Federation’s 140 million. That’s about 7x.

    In the East/Asia-Pacific region, US + its Indo-Pacific allies/Quad is over 2 billion people, almost double China’s population.

    China’s large total naval tonnage obscures the fact that most of it consists of small, militarily useless ships that would be totally ineffectual against the US Navy and the Quad. Most of them are basically fishing ships.

    Russia and China are checkmated on these dimensions as well.

    • LOL: Daniel Chieh
    • Replies: @Beckow
  116. Beckow says:
    @Mr. Hack

    …Yanukovych, who first solidly planted the seed of EU integration within the minds of Ukrainians?

    Why do you always forget the Orange Revolution in 2005? Yushenko and his 5-year rule, the longing for EU and Nato was there, same plans, some of the same people. Any inconvenient facts are omitted from your narrative, it looks sloppy and manipulative.

    Putin is a cautious man and there isn’t much one can do when half of Ukraine decides to start a rebellion against their miserable lives and geography. Who was asleep was the other half (or 25-40%) of Ukraine. Maidan was a self-inflicted madness that started out relatively normal and went crazy very quickly creating a complete cul-de-sac.

    There is no EU, there is no Nato, there is no chance of a normal relationship with Russia (and Russia by definition dominates that region, like it or not), there is no internal dynamism in Ukraine – most young people want to leave. Crimea, the main strategic and geographic jewell is gone. And anger, false hopes and fear of consequences prevent a normal resolution (“compromise”). This will not end well, the only question is how big will be the suffering.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  117. @AltanBakshi


    Mr. Hack, Yanukovych was a leader of independent Ukrainian state, and he just played Great powers against each other, so that he could gain greater rewards, quite common behaviour among the leaders of independent small powers. He agreed to have early elections, but EU and Euromaidan leaders betrayed their words and agitated for violent coup. Constitution of Ukraine was breached by the rump parliament.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  118. Beckow says:
    @Crotty

    Your writing suggests that you are simply a fool.

    The only number that matters is how many soldiers each side has willing to die. West and US have very few. US can bomb – and be bombed in return – but cannot and will not sacrifice hundreds of thousands of young people to win a war against China or Russia. That’s why they are trying to get the “allies” to do it. No allies will do it. If you think that West has hundreds of thousands of young men of all genders ready to die, you are a even a bigger fool. (US army has officially 10-20k transgender troops – I can just see the enemies shaking in their boots. This is just silly.)

    US Navy is basically a bunch of floating dead-traps. In any conflict with today’s weapons most ships would be sunk within the first few hours.

    This is obvious to anyone who is not feeding on silly Hollywood fantasia, as you seem to.

    • Agree: Mulegino1
  119. Aedib says:
    @AP

    Soviets also crushed mujahedeen consistently but they had to retire from Afghanistan. Thirty years after, the history repeats itself with NATO running away from Afghanistan. Conclusion: Unwinnable wars must not be started.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  120. Mr. Hack says:
    @AltanBakshi

    Yanukovych enjoyed much support from Putin during his career. Putin should have put his foot down much earlier with Yanukovych and put him into his place, but he did not. Putin has never looked upon Ukraine as an independent state, certainly not during Yanukovych’s presidency. Yanukovych succeeded in making both himself and Putin look like fools. There’s really no other way to see it.

    I can well imagine, that Putin may have felt initially that Yanukovych may have had some chance of someday returning to rule Ukraine. But today? Every day that Yanukovych remains in Russia is another day of Putin looking silly. You’ll have to admit that it would have been far easier to get Yanukovych to fall into line in 2014 or earlier than it will be now with any Ukrainian president.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  121. @showmethereal

    Chinese seaborne imports of oil must necessarily transit maritime chokepoints where the USN would be expected to dominate the PLAN owing to its larger blue water navy, worldwide basing, and large network of allies and clients.

    Essentially China would need to defeat the seapower of the US and its allies in Southeast Asia and the Persian Gulf. Some US allies could also be fairly considerable–the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Forces for instance.

    Oil pipeline capacity from Russia and Kazakhstan tops out at around 2 million barrels per day. More oil could also be railed in, subject to tanker car capacity.

    China has a strategic petroleum reserve equivalent to around half a year’s net oil imports, and as Karlin noted the Chinese would immediately institute rationing. However, in a wartime scenario industrial and military energy requirements would increase somewhat offsetting civilian rationing.

    China also needs to import more than just oil. Coal, copper, bauxite, soybeans, and nearly every other commodity of significance for which China now consumes half of the entire world’s output.

    A distant blockade strategy would thus be quite useful to the US and its allies, though it would not cause China to collapse.

    • Agree: Anatoly Karlin
    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    , @showmethereal
  122. Mr. Hack says:
    @Beckow

    But it still exists, and as some commenters here love to point out, its GDP is slowly improving year by year. Some, even within this thread, think that its standard of living may even someday equal that of France. 🙂

    What transpired within Yushchenko’s presidency should have had little to do with Yanukovych’s trajectory as a politician. After all, the two were political antagonists, and there was absolutely no reason for Yanukovych to follow in Yushchenko’s footsteps. Actually, it would have made a lot more sense for Yanukovych to carve out a new political orientation.

    • Replies: @Beckow
  123. Mr. Hack says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    Hey Thorfinnsson, it’s nice to see you back! I hope that the time that you’ve spent away from this blogsite was of value. I’ve always enjoyed reading your fact ladened comments.

    • Agree: AP, Thorfinnsson
  124. AP says:
    @AltanBakshi

    Arguably it was just a third of Ukraine

    Geographically yes, but in terms of population and importance Kiev and the Left Bank were easily half of Ukraine. The Right Bank was largely depopulated during the Ruin.

    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
  125. @Aedib

    Afghanistan was and still is the grave of Empires. The first empire that failed there was Alexander the Great. Turned out not to be so great in Afghanistan. British Empire in the nineteenth century waged several wars in Afghanistan, only to retreat with its tail between its legs. The USSR failed in the twentieth century, the US and its sidekicks in the twenty first.

    All this is particularly funny considering how useless Afghanistan is (useful only for opium production).

    • Agree: Aedib
  126. @Mr. Hack

    Ukrainian president

    These two words sound like a sick joke. Does anyone outside of a madhouse consider previous clown with holes in his socks or current clown in intact socks president? Of course, quite a few pathetic puppets in various banana republics called themselves presidents, but that did not change the reality.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  127. AP says:
    @Beckow

    What they have in common is that these powers disappeared as powers after leading the failed attack on Russia

    PLC failed to hold Moscow but the war ended in a draw. PLC eventually ended due to internal reasons (Khmelnytsky’s civil war was probably the fatal factor). Poland also stopped Moscow in 1920. On balance it’s record against its fellow Slavs was better than that the non-Slavic enemies.

    • Replies: @Mikhail
  128. @Crotty

    Did you know that, despite propaganda, Iran and Russia are not actual neighbors? So, in order to get to “Russia’s underbelly”, any enemies would have to occupy a few more countries in their way? The Derbent and Sukhumi pathways are easy to block. On the other, Eastern side of the Caspian, it’s more than 2000 km, through two other countries, in road-less flat, unpopulated steppe, and at the other end, it’s just Astrakhan…

  129. Mr. Hack says:
    @AnonFromTN

    I’m quite sure that both the current and previous presidents have nicer wardrobes than some ex-sovok college professor. I know that Poroshenko is already quite wealthy and Greenstein is probably enhancing his tie collection too! 🙂

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  130. AP says:
    @Mr. Hack

    You are correct in principle or ideally, but the reality is that Ukraine is neither a mountain stronghold like Switzerland nor a small place on the periphery like Finland. It has a strategic location in the European plain with a regional power with a history of expansionism next door. To maintain true neutrality Ukraine would need:

    1. For massive Russia next door to be a weak shell, like under Yeltsin. Not a long-term solution.
    2. A bristling and extremely expensive defence involving a huge standing army, missiles, etc.
    3. A nuclear deterrent, though it doesn’t have to be as large as France’s. North Korea’s would be sufficient.

    Or Ukraine can forget neutrality and choose a side and join a bloc. It has chosen the West.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    , @Mikhail
  131. @Mr. Hack

    I know that Poroshenko is already quite wealthy

    Sure, Porky is wealthy (a very successful crook), but he is widely known for his avarice and stinginess. When he was a minister in Yanuk’s government (Yanuk, being a piece of shit himself, collected all sorts of shit for his “team”), his nickname was “shoe”, because he always wore shoes with worn-out soles. So, socks with holes (seen in pictures and videos) are perfectly in his character.

  132. @AP

    I don’t believe you. Sloboda Ukraine was a new land, not long time ago conquered, recently fortified and extremely thinly populated, but Galicia and Podolia were among most densely populated lands of whole Commonwealth.

    The case of the Crimean Khanate is quite interesting, many Russians falsely believe that Crimea and Edisan were thinly populated before the coming of Russians, and outwardly it seems to be quite a reasonable opinion to have, there’s only about 300 000 Crimean Tatars in nowadays Russia, and steppes can’t support a large population, but still such belief is an utter falsehood! Only a small minority of Tatars lived as a nomads in the wild steppes, vast majority were sedentary folks, living in fertile Crimea, or on the fertile coast of Southern Ukraine, and it’s estimated that in 19th century almost million of them left to Ottoman Anatolia, as Muhajir refugees. If we take into account how fertile Muslim populations have been in the last few centuries, we can extrapolate that without the intervention of White Czar, there would be now quite a few million Muslims in southern Ukraine in our era!

    • Replies: @AP
  133. AP says:
    @AltanBakshi

    Sloboda Ukraine

    I was talking about the Left Bank and Kiev, not Sloboda. Galicia was densely populated but the Right Bank was depopulated and destroyed during the Ruin (many of its people escaped to the Left Bank).

    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
  134. Wency says:
    @AP

    America is close to its peak, which was probably sometime in the 1990s. China has not yet peaked.

    In terms of relative power, America’s peak was surely in the aftermath of WW2 when it represented over 50% of global GDP and 100% of nuclear weapons production. But it did see another local peak after the Soviet collapse.

    The point about China is basically valid. You could probably pick a point from one of its medieval dynasties (I’m thinking the early Tang) when China was far and away the greatest power on Earth, though it’s a bit pedantic when going so far back and when they weren’t even in proper contact with their greatest Earthly competitor (the Byzantines?)

  135. @AnonFromTN

    Macedonians did not losein Afghanistan, the Greek rule continued for over three centuries there. Tens of thousands Ionians and Macedonians emigrated to Afghanistan, intermarried with locals and established dozens of new Poleis, with all the Hellenic institutions of Greek homeland.

    • Agree: Aedib
    • Replies: @Aedib
  136. @AP

    Are you claiming that Left Bank had as many, or almost as many people as Podolia, Right Bank, Volhynia and Galicia together, not mentioning Crimea and Edisan? Or do you now claim that you were only speaking of Ukraine proper?

    • Replies: @AP
  137. @AP

    I can’t tell if you’re serious or joking. Do you know how many anti-ship missile batteries are on the Crimean peninsula? Not even lunatic neocons would order an aircraft carrier into the Black sea, and if they did no one would obey them. Not to mention enough Russian submarines there they are practically bumping into each other. The Black Sea is a Russian lake.

    • Replies: @Dacian Julien Soros
  138. @Blinky Bill

    Isn’t a pipeline (or a railway) nearly as vulnerable as a lot of tankers shuttling from Kharg Island to wherever China’s import terminals are?

    I really can’t see why China should think about Taiwan in the next 15 years. The US is getting weaker and more diverse every year. Why not let these favourable trends continue?

    • Agree: AnonFromTN
    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
  139. Mr. Hack says: • Website
    @AP

    I don’t really think that either the West or Russia really want to be involved in a total war over Ukraine. They recently had a chance to do so, and both sides kind of quietly (and conveniently) backed off.

    A similar war in 3-5-10 years probably wont be a more convenient time to do so. Ukraine has always been a country that has leaned both towards the East and the West, so why not try to formalize this reality? Of course creating a military deterrent in Ukraine, greater than what it is now, would be prudent. Including a nuclear deterrent could also be in the cards, as Ukraine screwed itself by giving up these weapons that didn’t pay any dividends, in fact one of the signatories of the Budapest memorandum decided to abrogate its responsibilities and invade Ukraine and pillage and loot the place.

    On a more positive note, once all sides could see that peace in the area could provide for greater business and trade opportunities, the military part of the equation could be toned down. If only I could convince Karlin that peace is good for the region, for we all know that he has Putin’s ear who reads his blog. 🙂

  140. @reiner Tor

    “but I’m not sure if they did anything or just kept them around in case of a serious embargo.”

    Well being that Putin ordered industry to come up with a solution so that Russia can never be cut off from the internet – effectively like an internet bunker – I would assume such is the case with semiconductors. But again – since I don’t read Russian I don’t have enough info. If you find some – please forward.

    • Replies: @utu
  141. @Crotty

    I thought the lend-lease program was an American ruse to keep the two former allies at war while US and UK cheered from the sides. But now you are telling me Lend-Lease won the war! If only the US-Afghan war (the one that has been going on for 20 years now) was influenced in a similar way.

    By far, the most important reason Ukraine is losing ground is because its army does not want to fight. The same goes for most wars, unless it’s something ridiculous like India vs Sikkim.

  142. AP says:
    @AltanBakshi

    It had several times more people than the Right Bank (which included parts of Volhynia and Podilya) in 1700 but Galicia was indeed densely populated. Crimea wasn’t part of Ukraine.

    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
  143. @AP

    “Disagree with the comparison of 21st century Russia with either the Russian Empire or the USSR in terms of power and military might.”
    “Modern Russia wouldn’t be a match against a modern Napoleonic France or a modern Hitlerian Germany”.

    Not sure how you qualify that. Russian armaments are in many ways world leading. I mean how would NATO penetrate Russian air defense??

    I wasn’t even talking nukes. If nukes are used – then life as we all know it will be over and/or changed forever.

  144. @AnonFromTN

    “British Empire in the nineteenth century waged several wars in Afghanistan, only to retreat with its tail between its legs. “

    I think after the 1842 disaster (the Brits were back within 6 months, sacking Kandahar and putting every male of fighting age they could find to the sword with their “Army Of Retribution”) the Brits stuck strictly to occasional punitive expeditions when the border tribes were playing up, so strictly speaking they never retreated with tail between legs, 1842 was a retreat/massacre that only one man survived. They did invade Afghanistan in the Second Afghan War, but purely to duff up the adminstration until a more amenable leader took over. After 1842 they never again attempted to actually occupy the country or even strategic towns for more than very short periods.

    We had to wait til the late 20th and 21st centuries for Russia and US/UK to attempt that.

    Great description of Afghan border warfare by Churchill here

    http://www.gutenbergcanada.ca/ebooks/churchillws-myearlylife/churchillws-myearlylife-00-h-dir/churchillws-myearlylife-00-h.html#chap11

    Campaigning on the Indian frontier is an experience by itself. Neither the landscape nor the people find their counterparts in any other portion of the globe. Valley walls rise steeply five or six thousand feet on every side. The columns crawl through a maze of giant corridors down which fierce snow-fed torrents foam under skies of brass. Amid these scenes of savage brilliancy there dwells a race whose qualities seem to harmonise with their environment. Except at harvest-time, when self-preservation enjoins a temporary truce, the Pathan tribes are always engaged in private or public war. Every man is a warrior, a politician and a theologian. Every large house is a real feudal fortress made, it is true, only of sun-baked clay, but with battlements, turrets, loopholes, flanking towers, drawbridges, etc., complete. Every village has its defence. Every family cultivates its vendetta; every clan, its feud. The numerous tribes and combinations of tribes all have their accounts to settle with one another. Nothing is ever forgotten, and very few debts are left unpaid. For the purposes of social life, in addition to the convention about harvest-time, a most elaborate code of honour has been established and is on the whole faithfully observed. A man who knew it and observed it faultlessly might pass unarmed from one end of the frontier to another. The slightest technical slip would, however, be fatal. The life of the Pathan is thus full of interest; and his valleys, nourished alike by endless sunshine and abundant water, are fertile enough to yield with little labour the modest material requirements of a sparse population.

    Into this happy world the nineteenth century brought two new facts; the breech-loading rifle and the British Government. The first was an enormous luxury and blessing; the second, an unmitigated nuisance. The convenience of the breech-loading, and still more of the magazine, rifle was nowhere more appreciated than in the Indian highlands. A weapon which would kill with accuracy at fifteen hundred yards opened a whole new vista of delights to every family or clan which could acquire it. One could actually remain in one’s own house and fire at one’s neighbour nearly a mile away. One could lie in wait on some high crag, and at hitherto unheard-of ranges hit a horseman far below. Even villages could fire at each other without the trouble of going far from home. Fabulous prices were therefore offered for these glorious products of science. Rifle-thieves scoured all India to reinforce the efforts of the honest smuggler. A steady flow of the coveted weapons spread its genial influence throughout the frontier, and the respect which the Pathan tribesmen entertained for Christian civilization was vastly enhanced.

    • Thanks: LondonBob
    • Replies: @Bies Podkrakowski
  145. @Crotty

    1) How would those NATO forces get through Russia’s S300/400/500???

    2) where in the region could the US base more THAAD??? China protested South Korea’s deployment and the new leader of the country quickly told the US “no more”. Again you don’t understand the ranges – so you should check up on them.

  146. Aedib says:
    @AltanBakshi

    Greco-Bactrian kingdoms can be considered as a product of Alexander conquests. I do not consider Alexander to have failed in ruling these lands. Any other great empire failed. Mongols largely bypassed what is current Afghanistan. In perspective Soviets left a fairly organized regime. Current NATO runaway is leaving chaos and probably the Taliban will take back the whole “country”.

    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
  147. Mulegino1 says:
    @AP

    In time of war, the life span of any carrier group in or close to the Black Sea would be measured in minutes.

    The same calculation would hold for the Persian Gulf.

    US carriers are the contemporary equivalent of the battle wagons on Battleship Row on Dec. 6, 1941.

    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
  148. @Sparkylyle92

    “enough Russian submarines there they are practically bumping into each other”

  149. @Mr. Hack

    Well, the first step was for Putin to deny Yanukovich economic support (when money was pouring in to Russia). Putin just told him he was Moscow’s man bought and paid for. Follow orders! Yanukovich then tried to play the, unenthusiastic EU off against Russia with results as you say.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  150. @Beckow

    In the 17th C, newly formed Great Britain put the Romanovs on the throne to stop the Poles building a giant Catholic empire in the East. Don’t expect an invasion led by Britain. It was’t British style in the past. Who invaded India? Who were the British Conquistadores in the New World? Lord Lebedev of Siberia will be the way forward. Already happening.

    • Replies: @Iuk
  151. Mr. Hack says:
    @Philip Owen

    The fact that Yanukovych wasn’t able to peacefully bring Ukraine to Putin, and that Putin continues to keep him in Russia still amazes me. I’ve read somewhere that Putin uses Yanukovych to funnel some of his ill gained wealth to the separatists in Donbas. I don’t think that he’d be up for that on his own without direct orders from the top. He certainly should not be in contention for Putin’s samovar polishing award.

  152. AnonZero says:
    @Crotty

    China cannot sustain an extended campaign or war of attrition because of its lack of energy

    Not quite so simple. It depends what is meant by extended war of attrition.

    In the first year of an extended war, absolutely the Chinese will suffer, as rationing bites and as they dip into their strategic oil reserve.

    After that, and especially after the 1 year mark, the dynamic would tend to change dramatically.

    First, there are China’s very large reserves of coal. Much of China’s coal is presently non-economic to mine, not overly so, but enough to give them incentive to import coal from abroad. However, in wartime, these more costly coal fields would be exploited and the Chinese would construct enormous capacity to convert coal to liquid fuels.

    Second, it is widely assessed that China has good reserves of shale oil:

    They haven’t developed the tech to exploit these shale reserves just yet, and are moving to electrics and hybrids at a tremendous pace, so lack the incentive. But should it come to war, those shale reserves would be tapped. That would probably take care of the rest of their liquid fuel needs.

    China would, in that science fantasy extended war scenario, turn to Shale Oil/Gas, and Coal-to-Liquids. That’s not even yet counting Russian and Iranian supplies into the equation (both to be supplied over land routes). The lack of access to energy is only relevant for China in the early war phase, not after the first year, at most.

    China is not resource poor per se. It’s not simply some sort of huge Taiwan or Singapore.

    In fact, they probably have resources on par with any similarly sized territory. China’s issue, and it’s one China shares with Europe, is that their land mass has so many people that their resource needs are outsized, magnified by China’s colossal industrial capacity/requirement. In both cases, food production to support populations has outstripped raw materials in the ground.

    The U.S., with a significantly smaller population than either China or Europe, is better off on a per-person basis.

    Australia is even better than the United States in that regard – Australia is, per capita, possibly the most well-resourced country in the world. And their massive exports prove it.

  153. Beckow says:
    @Mr. Hack

    Political plans never exist in a vacuum, the idea that “Ukraine is Europe“, trying to join EU, or Nato, this idea had a dynamic of its own. To associate it with a particular politician is a mistake. Around 2005-15 the overall zeitgeist in Ukraine was “let’s join Europe” and all politicians followed it, Yushenko, Yanukovitch, etc…

    The false narrative that West creates about a good Yushenko-and-Maidan who want “Europe” and a bad Yanuk who was trying to prevent it is a lie. It was about the details: Yanuk wanted a better deal. Maidan can be summarised as a rebellion against the idea that Ukraine has a right to negotiate with EU, that any deal, anything that smells of Europe is good enough.

    It was a mistake. Maidan resembles Gorbachevism: a unilateral disarmament based on blind trust in higher power – in the case of Maidan anything west of them was by definition a higher power. They felt that they had no right to question, negotiate or try to get a better deal. It ended up badly: as I keep on repeating: no EU, giving up sovereignty, internal rebellion, losing Crimea, relative poverty and still ruled by oligarchs.

    If people from Maidan were asleep for the last 7 years and would wake up today they would be horrified by how little of what they supposedly wanted has happened.

    • Agree: AltanBakshi
    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  154. A123 says:
    @AnonZero

    Chinese will suffer, as rationing bites and as they dip into their strategic oil reserve.

    War consumes fuel at staggering rate. And, there are huge numbers of commercial vehicles that must have fuel. Rationing fuel will immediately create substantial secondary problems across the country.

    It is widely assessed that China has good reserves of shale oil… They haven’t developed the tech to exploit these shale reserves just yet,

    China does not develop technology. The Elite CCP steals Intellectual Property abroad and brings it to China. Fracking is still more “art” than science. The CCP can steal drilling rig designs, but not the “art” to use them effectively.

    That’s not even yet counting Russian and Iranian supplies into the equation (both to be supplied over land routes).

    Very long land routes are difficult to protect. Railroads are especially vulnerable. The Lac-Mégantic (1) oil train fiasco is a good example of the problem. Once an oil train begins burning, it is very hard to put out. The length, heat, & toxic nature of a crude oil fire creates huge problems trying to clean-up and repair damaged track. A rail tunnel fire that contaminates confined spaces would be even harder to bring back into service.
    _____

    CCP Elites could heap suffering on Chinese Workers for years via a defense strategy, “not losing” the conflict. However, they are short on offensive options to generate a “win”.

    PEACE 😇
    __________

    (1) https://canadiandimension.com/articles/view/the-lac-megantic-rail-disaster

    • LOL: Blinky Bill
    • Troll: showmethereal
  155. @Thorfinnsson

    Yes – but that is all assuming China is helpless. China has the missiles to neutralize the US surface ships in the close in Pacific… But it is going full throttle in anti submarine warfare since that is the only advantage left for the US.

    A US ATTEMPT at a blockade would devastate the global economy – AND be militarily extremely costly. This is not 1990 anymore.

    Speak of the Persian Gulf… The US even under Trump didn’t dare try to blockade Iran. But you expect they can try it with China? These drills below with Iran – Russia – China were labelled anti piracy.. But do you think that was the only thing they would be trying to show? A hint by the quote Russian news chose to convey… “Iran cannot be isolated”.

    https://www.rt.com/news/476983-russia-china-iran-drills/

    Like trying to help Ukraine take Crimea from Russia – an attempted blockade of sea traffic to China would cause serious consequences globally.

    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
  156. Mr. Hack says:
    @Beckow

    Yanuk wanted a better deal.

    Apparently Putin promised him (personally) a better deal in Sochi, now he’ll end up being his caretaker for life.

    They deserve each other. 🙂

    • Troll: AltanBakshi
    • Replies: @Beckow
  157. AnonZero says:
    @AnonFromTN

    For the long-term future of China-Russia relations, you can look at history.

    Chinese civilization had little to do with Persian, Indian or Islamic culture, but had no problems interacting as equals with all of these, for most of its history. Even Japanese and Korean cultures were not at odds with China, except for really short periods (lasting decades at most). China’s long-term problem were the Asian nomads of Mongolia, Manchuria, Tibet and Turkestan – but these are all assimilated already, so need mentioning them.

    We must look to the long-run. Don’t be too focused on very recent history, which from China’s perspective, the last two hundred years is recent.

    In the longer term, China and Russia will move forward on the basis of equality and mutual respect. I expect no more wars or even real tensions between them. Not in the fullness of time.

    (But business competition, well that’s another matter).

    • Agree: showmethereal
    • Replies: @AnonfromTN
  158. @AnonZero

    In the longer term, China and Russia will move forward on the basis of equality and mutual respect. I expect no more wars or even real tensions between them.

    I agree, that’s the most likely scenario. China and Russia share a huge border (thousands of miles), and have a lot of complementarity, so healthy mutually beneficial relations are good for both. But there is a huge difference between massive peaceful trade based on equality, mutual respect plus non-interference and actual alliance. Extensive neighborly business interactions are natural, military alliance is not. It was made necessary only by suicidal imperial policies. It will end when and if the Empire becomes a normal country, subject to the same rules as the rest.

  159. Beckow says:
    @Mr. Hack

    Your answer is fully devoid of content. You have remained an old clown repeating cliches….

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  160. utu says:
    @showmethereal

    Exclusive: Russian high tech project flounders after U.S. sanctions (OCTOBER 17, 2018)
    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-russia-usa-sanctions-technology-exclu/exclusive-russian-high-tech-project-flounders-after-u-s-sanctions-idUSKCN1MR1LF

    Russia’s major semiconductor manufacturer declared bankrupt (28/10/2019)
    http://rapsinews.com/judicial_news/20191028/304952701.html

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  161. @Aedib

    Wrong, Mongols didn’t rule long over Afghanistan, only 100+ years, but still had a lasting effect in land, Afghani Shias, Hazaras and Sunni Aimaqs have their genetical origins in Mongolian troops garrisoned in Afghanistan, that’s why Hazaras and Aimaqs look so Asian, even though they live in Central Highlands of Afghanistan.

    Near ancient city of Herat, a heavily Persian influenced Mongolian was still spoken in 1970s.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moghol_language

    Hazaras are the polar opposites of Pakhtuns, religiously moderate etc.

    It’s interesting how one can find ethnic groups originating from garrisoned Mongolians, all over Asia, but few are as numerous as Hazaras.

    • Replies: @Blinky Bill
  162. @AP

    Oh so now we are speaking about what lands were considered to be part of Ukraine in 1700? And I was thinking the question was about how much land Russia controlled within the borders of the present day Ukraine.

    Btw was Galicia even considered a part of Ukraine in 1700? Probably not, part of Rus/Ruthenia yes, and part of core regions of Poland, but not part of Ukraine.

    • Replies: @AP
  163. Mr. Hack says:
    @Beckow

    Too difficult for you to understand? Cliches??

  164. Mikhail says: • Website
    @AP

    Poland also stopped Moscow in 1920. On balance it’s record against its fellow Slavs was better than that the non-Slavic enemies.

    Polish nationalist anti-Russian messianism. What actually happened that ended up screwing Poland:

    https://www.eurasiareview.com/08042016-fuzzy-history-how-poland-saved-the-world-from-russia-analysis/

  165. Mikhail says: • Website
    @AP

    Or Ukraine can forget neutrality and choose a side and join a bloc. It has chosen the West.

    With no NATO or EU membership, along with not getting Western Covid-19 vaccines at the same time as actual NATO and/or EU member states.

    • Agree: AltanBakshi
    • Replies: @AP
  166. @AnonZero

    China produces almost as much oil as Iraq or Emirates. China could easily survive embargo by rationing the use of oil, using reserves, disallowing private use of cars, and getting oil from neighbouring friendly countries. So there’s no need for such drastic measures. One year of rationing would probably be enough, and new energy infrastructure with Russia and Kazakhstan would have been build in a hurry.

    Kuznetsk Basin, or Kuzbass in Russia, not far away from China, is a huge source of coal of high quality. It would be easy to just take coal from there by train to China.

    • Replies: @Blinky Bill
  167. @utu

    The bankruptcy meant that the state development agency acquired 100% of the shares of the company. It’s unclear what they were going to just stop all activities.

    I guess Russian speakers could come up with a way more detailed story about the state of the industry in Russia after just half an hour searching Yandex. As a Yandex shareholder, I demand someone does this and translates the results to me.

  168. Mikhail says: • Website

    Latest Mark Sleboda:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D0cpNdAgJ1A

    He comes on at the 32:45 mark.

  169. AP says:
    @AltanBakshi

    Is Crimea still in the borders of present-day Ukraine?

    Russia controlled about half the population of present-day Ukraine in 1700.

  170. AP says:
    @Mikhail

    Poland gives vaccines to Ukrainians working in Poland as it does for Poles. Poland is also sending vaccines to Ukraine.

    https://www.reuters.com/article/health-coronavirus-ukraine-eu/update-1-eu-backs-polands-plan-to-give-ukraine-extra-1-2-mln-vaccine-doses-says-kyiv-idUSL1N2KG1SK

    Off topic for war, but not for Ukraine:

    Per KIIS poll, Eastern Ukrainians are the strongest anti-Vaxxers in the country (though the country as a whole is cretinously anti-Vaxx):

    36% of Western and Central Ukrainians feel ready to get vaccinated compared to 29% of Southerners and 26% of Easterners.

    • Replies: @Mikhail
  171. @YetAnotherAnon

    Railroads and pipelines can be quickly repaired.

    Ships take a long time to build, and slow-moving oil tankers and bulk freighters transiting chokepoints are sitting ducks.

    There’s of course a strong argument for China to wait, but internal political competition in China means that no Chinese leader can afford to show weakness on issues of national prestige. The CCP is also invested in a kind of quasi-numerology, in which targets are tied to important anniversaries of various kinds.

    One also needs to consider that a declining power can be a very dangerous one, and also the fact that the USA is not the only country in the world. While China’s power relative to America’s is likely to continue to increase, its relatively power to some of its neighbors may not. Vietnam and India for instance are likely to have higher growth rates than China going forward.

    Then there’s what may be even more critical–developments in Taiwan itself. Taiwanese identity is increasingly displacing Chinese identity, and for each year that passes the risk of a Taiwanese declaration of independence increases. The current anemic state of the Taiwanese armed forces is not necessarily a permanent situation either. Witness for instance the robust growth in Ukrainian military spending post-Maidan.

    On Taiwanese identity: https://www.pewresearch.org/global/2020/05/12/in-taiwan-views-of-mainland-china-mostly-negative/

    • Replies: @YetAnotherAnon
  172. Blinky Bill says: • Website
    @AltanBakshi

    The daughter of a Hazara coalminer topped Afghanistan’s University Entrance Exam. Shamsia Alizada, came first out of more than 170,000 students.


    [MORE]

  173. @Mulegino1

    The battleships on battleship row were sitting ducks precisely because they were at their moorings.

    Of twenty-six battleships sunk in WW2, only four that were underway were solely sunk by aircraft. And one of these was sunk by history’s first operational guided anti-ship bomb.

    The ships were:

    •HMS Prince of Wales
    •Roma
    •Musashi
    •Yamato

    The Yamato, incidentally, was attacked by 400 aircraft and was struck by dozens of bombs and torpedoes before finally sinking.

    The Black Sea is obviously a Russian lake where CVBGs cannot operate due to the close proximity to overwhelming Russian land-based airpower, but one should not assume that CVBGs on the open sea are sitting ducks.

    • Agree: reiner Tor
    • Replies: @El Dato
    , @LondonBob
  174. @showmethereal

    China has the capability to dominate the seas in its backyard due to its overwhelming land based airpower and large force of littoral ships and submarines.

    The USN and USAF dominate the open seas and strategic chokepoints far beyond China owing to their larger size and global basing. America’s allies are an additional powerful force multiplier–the JMSDF for instance is one of the world’s largest and most professional navies. Even American allies that decline to participate actively will provide meaningful passive support in the form of intelligence, logistics, and tolerating various American operations short of war.

    The best case for China is of course that the US chooses to contest any conflict close to China. In that event, the US will almost certainly lose. Political pressure within the USA along with American complacency and arrogance make such a scenario plausible, though not inevitable.

    The worst case is that the USA pursues a distant blockade strategy. This would result in nearly all of China’s seaborne imports being cut off while denying China the opportunity to strike at American naval power. It would be reduced to menacing Japan, America’s far Western Pacific bases, and sporadic submarine attacks. Onshore China would be forced to undertake frantic rationing, import substitution, and efforts to implore the Russians to supply more resources along limited transportation corridors.

    It’s certainly true that the global economy would be devastated, but any Sino-American war is guaranteed to do so.

  175. Blinky Bill says: • Website
    @Thorfinnsson

    a distant blockade strategy.

    • Replies: @Philip Owen
  176. Blinky Bill says: • Website
    @Blinky Bill

    [MORE]

    Uygher Genocide, Free Tibet!

  177. Blinky Bill says: • Website
    @Blinky Bill

    Developers plan to build what they say will be the world’s biggest large-scale battery in the New South Wales Hunter Valley Australia, the latest in a flurry of major energy storage projects announced for the national electricity grid.

    CEP Energy said its $2.4bn battery at Kurri Kurri, north-west of Newcastle, would have a power capacity of 1,200 megawatts.

  178. @Thorfinnsson

    In such a long war the Chinese economy would be badly hurt by energy shortages, but the American economy would also spend the first year or two trying to figure out how to replace Chinese imports. Though normally military planners rarely think about industrial products as they are assumed to be easy to replace, it might not be the case for the complex supply chains of the modern globalized economy. Rare earth production would need to be ramped up very quickly, which might prove challenging, and I don’t think it would be solved within a few months. By the time all of these issues are worked out, the Chinese might already have worked out their energy issues, by rationing, coal hydrogenation, new pipelines to Russian and Central Asian (and perhaps also Iranian) supplies, etc.

    Also, the Chinese economy crashing 30-40% might not matter if the rest can be better mobilized for the war effort than would be the case in America. (I don’t know if that would be the case, but certainly a possibility.)

    I guess Chinese shipbuilding would engage in a crash carrier and submarine production program, and they would revive the Russian shipbuilding and aerospace industries by placing lots of orders with them. I imagine China would find it easier to significantly increase its military shipbuilding than the Americans.

    Overall the biggest weakness of China right now is its much smaller nuclear stockpile.

    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
  179. @reiner Tor

    Being cut off from Chinese imports would obviously be a problem for America, but there’s an asymmetry in this disruption that favors America. See the breakdown of America’s imports from China:

    https://www.junglescout.com/blog/us-imports-from-china/

    Mostly low value products (machinery and electrical looks serious, but mostly means the final assembly of consumer electronics).

    It should also be noted that the US has a relatively low level of imports, and while it would be cut off from Chinese imports it would be able to continue most of its other imports (and increase them).

    There are of course some critical vulnerabilities. Rare earths are one example. Even though the USA has large reserves, the mines aren’t open and the processing plants moved offshore. COVID brought attention to the fact that the world depends on China for active pharmaceutical ingredients, for instance: https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2020/mar/17/china-threatens-restrict-critical-drug-exports-us/

    There’s no question that Chinese shipbuilding dwarfs American, though to some extent the US could depend on Japanese shipbuilding as an offsetting factor.

    As for mobilization, it certainly seems likely that the Chinese would do a far better job of it than America. COVID is a great example, and America is a deeply divided society whereas China is a highly unified one.

  180. @Thorfinnsson

    to some extent the US could depend on Japanese shipbuilding as an offsetting factor.

    This means that Japanese neutrality would initially not be unfavorable for America in such a scenario. Even a neutral South Korea could help the Americans by building ships (and I guess chips?) for it.

  181. Mr. Hack says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    The idea that China is itching to have a war with the US, or to just worsen relations seems foolish to me. It has so much going for it just as things are, I don’t see how rocking the boat would be to their advantage? Besides outright trade, where the US and its European allies still import a lot of electronic products etc., last I remember, China was still holding an awful lot of US debt (bonds). The electronic auto market seems to be another area in which China seems to be gearing up its manufacturing base.

    If it’s military glory that China needs to pursue, why not focus on Russia? A much weaker military adversary than the US with which it still has some unresolved territorial disputes? But even this seems foolish at this point.

    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
    , @Mikhail
  182. El Dato says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    A battleship has armor.

    Everything in a CVBG is papier-maché, painted grey.

    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
  183. @reiner Tor

    I think America would benefit more from Japanese involvement (which is likely), though it still illustrates the point that America would be able to make use of non-belligerents worldwide in a way that would be denied to China.

    South Korea would be highly unlikely to get involved in the war, and it might even refuse to sell ships given that China can credibly invade South Korea.

  184. @Mr. Hack

    It’s not that China is itching to go to war with America, which of course it isn’t. China is also not interested in worsening relations with America, but it frequently has no choice. America routinely behaves aggressively towards China by harshly criticizing its leaders, targeting Chinese officials and companies with economic sanctions, aiding subversive movements, and even kidnapping.

    Rather, Taiwan is very important to China. And not only is it important to China, but Chinese leaders have loudly and repeatedly proclaimed how important Taiwan is to China. No Chinese leader can back down on the Taiwan issue and expect to survive, and there is also always the possibility that an ambitious or adventurous Chinese leader would seek to reunify the country sooner rather than later for basically domestic political reasons or even personal ambition.

    Taiwan can also force China’s hand on this at any time. All it would take is for some demented Taiwanese leader to unilaterally declare independence, which is something that China can never tolerate.

    As for turning toward Russia, attacking Russia solves no Chinese problems and fulfills no Chinese ambitions. It would immediately cut off the flow of Russian raw materials and technology, and a difficult conventional military conflict would threaten to go nuclear at any time. In the case of Taiwan China can plausibly hope for a rapid coup de main followed by a grudging acceptance of the new facts on the ground by the rest of the world.

    • Agree: Mr. Hack
    • Replies: @AnonZero
  185. @Thorfinnsson

    There are of course some critical vulnerabilities.

    I just thought about it more, was it not the case that they found out that even the F-35 had some Chinese products (commodity level, but still) in the supply chain? Those seem to be easy to replace, but maybe it’d take time.

    • Replies: @The Wild Geese Howard
  186. @Thorfinnsson

    You make good points… But in reality in Asia – only Japan and Australia would help. China’s naval build up considers both extensions of the US Pacific fleet. That’s why that Insider article noted Chinese ships and drones mapping submarine routes to and from Australia. South Korea refused to put more THAAD in their country… So they won’t help anything. Indonesia refused to allow the US to land a submarine tracking plane. Malaysia has done the same as well. Nobody in the area of sound mind wants to participate because they don’t want retaliation. Japan of course has no choice but to go along – but she would bear the brunt.

    As to the Persian Gulf – well the Saudis might back down… But would Iran??? Doubt it. They aren’t obeying a blockade against weak Venezuela… Even though ships have been seized they haven’t stopped. So this hypothetical scenario would simply be devastating to the globe. But it is true that leaders have made psychotic decisions before.

  187. Mikhail says: • Website
    @AP

    Your Polish point is a recent development, relative to the time that the Kiev regime could’ve requested and received the Sputnik Vax. Better dead than Russian eh? BTW, didn’t an Indian produced Covid-19 vax to Ukraine, pre-date your aforementioned Polish delivery?

    Referenced polling in US media shows that Repubs are the biggest anti-vaxxers in the US, which is a generally inappropriate term in its simplistic inaccuracy. If I’m not offhand mistaken, polling shows a relatively good number of Russians apprehensive about getting vaxxed.

    There’s a medically scientific basis to be reasonably cautious of the notion that everyone should simply get vaxxed without risking future consequences.

  188. Mikhail says: • Website
    @Mr. Hack

    The idea that China is itching to have a war with the US, or to just worsen relations seems foolish to me. It has so much going for it just as things are, I don’t see how rocking the boat would be to their advantage? Besides outright trade, where the US and its European allies still import a lot of electronic products etc., last I remember, China was still holding an awful lot of US debt (bonds). The electronic auto market seems to be another area in which China seems to be gearing up its manufacturing base.

    If it’s military glory that China needs to pursue, why not focus on Russia? A much weaker military adversary than the US with which it still has some unresolved territorial disputes? But even this seems foolish at this point.

    Vis-a-vis the US, because of its closer location to China, Russia isn’t so militarily weak in the instance you mention. On par with Obama’s argument for not sending arms to the Kiev regime.

    China is on the rise militarily as well as economically. In conventional terms, China does for the moment have some military limits. Conventionally and without direct US involvement, China might not be able to simply role over Taiwan. Even if so, for what purpose that’s a great immediate gain for Beijing?

    Otherwise, some very agreeable points Hack. Strategists talking about a heated Sino-Russo rivalry are often shortsighted. Consider the US-China fighting in the Korean War, as well ass China’s overall relationship with Britain. The tense Sino-Soviet period of the early 1960s on-wards, was limited and one having to do more with ideology differences and some ego issues than a very heated historical rivalry along the lines of France-Germany, Germany-Poland, et al.

    Helping Russo-Sino relations are the neolib and neocon stances taken in the West. Post-Soviet Russia isn’t so guns and butter as the USSR, with China seeing economic competition as being more important than the military route. Unfortunately, the US establishment is focused in another direction, as evidenced by the huge $ allotments given to its military industrial complex, which sees a benefit in hyping potential flashpoints around the world – Ukraine included.

  189. @reiner Tor

    In all seriousness – how could Japan possibly help the US in ship building? They are will within land based missiles and Chinese bombers.

    The whole scenario would be a nightmare. If Japan is involved would Kim in North Korea sit out and not launch missiles and rockets – when he knows China and Russia being the only reasons they still exist? The whole thing would be a nightmare.

    In the same way… Say -God forbid – Russia and Japan went to war over the Kuril Islands… If the US got involved – I don’t see any scenario where North Korea would just sit quiet.

  190. @Thorfinnsson

    “internal political competition in China means that no Chinese leader can afford to show weakness on issues of national prestige”

    Taiwan and China have been de facto separate entities for 70 years now, what will 20 or 30 more change?

    It would be utterly foolish, indeed treasonable, for any Chinese politician to press for an attack on Taiwan when the US is still in a position to do it tremendous (perhaps fatal from a CCP perspective) damage. The only possible scenario which could justify such an adventure would be the election of a Trump-like figure who also had the backing of elites and the deep state – with the determination to reduce reliance on China.

    At that point it might (from a Chinese perspective) be worth the risk, if you think things are likely to deteriorate going forward. But the US elites and deep state fought Trump for five years, and rigged an election to install their puppet president. It’s all looking great for China, and by the time half of the US Armed Forces are women, racial minorities or LGBLTiQ, it’ll be looking greater still.

  191. @Blinky Bill

    One more.

    A lotof ships go straight from The Cape to the Straits of Malacca. In the middle of the Indian Ocean they pass close to the British Indian Ocean Territory.

  192. china-russia-all-the-way says:
    @showmethereal

    I think Iran would launch its own war against the US in Iraq and Syria if Russia or China is at war with the US. Iran probably assumes that within 10 years there will be a war with the US after several years of being weakened by sanctions. Iranians will feel that joining in on a big war will be the best opportunity they have to win. So in either the Ukraine or Taiwan war scenario, there will be 2-3 major theaters.

  193. @reiner Tor

    Russians must be shaking in their boots. The three Baltic vaudeville states together are mighty, stronger than the Republic of Palau.

    • Replies: @Jazman
    , @Aedib
  194. Jazman says:
    @AnonfromTN

    I like Ukie and pro NATO comments . They said Russia lost got scared from combined Ukie West pressure and pulled troops . The best part is Ukie army defending Europe democracy for 7 years against invisible Russian army .

    • Replies: @AnonfromTN
  195. @Jazman

    Ukie “logic” is remarkable. If you take what they say at face value, Russia invaded seven years ago and now is about to invade. Reminds me of an old Russian joke about a woman who lent her pot to another one and demands it back. The other woman answers: first, I never borrowed it, second, I returned it a long time ago, and third, it was cracked.

    However, Western propaganda is so used to lying that it repeats contradictory Ukie fairy tales w/o wincing.

    • LOL: Jazman
    • Replies: @Mikhail
  196. @El Dato

    Carriers don’t have foot thick belts of armor intended to withstand asteroid collisions, but they’re 100,000 ton vessels of honeycombed construction with dozens of water-tight compartments and extensive damage control equipment.

    You also have to actually find it and hit it. Don’t give too much credence to Admiral Martyanov’s fantasies.

    It may well be that CVBGs have been depreciated by developments in PGMs and ISR, but we won’t know for sure until a major war breaks out. There was a similar debate about battleships in the interwar period. The British Parliament commented in 1936 that it might well be the case that the grand battlewagons had had their day, but in the event that this was not the case then to forfeit their construction would lose the empire.

    If carriers truly are obsolete, and note that the Chinese clearly don’t believe that they are, it begs the question of what an appropriate alternate force structure would be and what that would cost. Additionally, this alternate force would require the development of new doctrines and training.

  197. One should never miss an opportunity to reduce RF spy staff numbers in the state 😉

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  198. Aedib says:
    @AnonfromTN

    Baltustans inferiority-complex is proportional to the inverse of their sizes and populations.

    • Replies: @AnonfromTN
    , @Levtraro
  199. @showmethereal

    Japan has the world’s fourth largest navy (with very modern and capable ships), the world’s third largest manufacturing base, and is the world’s leading producer of capital goods (or at least exporter–Chinese internal production of capital goods has probably overtaken it). It is a very considerable ally in a hypothetical conflict with Sino-American war. Australia doesn’t add as much, but it’s still an addition. The Jindalee system alone is of tremendous value.

    That said, it’s a mistake to think that the current attitudes of Asian states would be sustainable in a Sino-American conflict. As in many prior great power conflicts, they would be forced to take sides by the belligerents. America and its allies have a greater ability to project power into Indonesia and Malaysia than does China.

    Iran quite obviously would not side with America (and might well even join the Chinese in the war), but there’s not a chance any substantial amount of oil could be shipped from Iran to China by sea. Iranian natural gas is connected to Turkmenistan, and probably a crash oil pipeline construction program into Central Asia would be initiated.

    Incidentally, this grim geography for China incentivizes them to invade Southeast Asia overland just as the Japanese did. That, however, would almost certainly draw India (and by extension Pakistan) into the conflict. But it’s not clear that China is even preparing for this given that its force planning and procurement decisions have deemphasized the army. It would also no doubt be a tough slog through Vietnam.

  200. @Aedib

    If they weren’t so hysterically spiteful, one would have to pity them. Southern Quechua is spoken by more people than Latvian, Estonian, and Lithuanian combined.

    • Agree: Aedib
    • Replies: @Aedib
  201. AnonZero says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    Disagree that Taiwan is able to force China’s hand, even with an outright declaration of independence.

    Certainly there would be consequences for Taiwan itself, but to say that domestic pressure would force China to military action is IMHO wrong.

    China reserves the right to use force, it states it as an option, but it does not commit to its use. There is an important difference here – the difference between an action resulting in automatic consequence, and the simple doubt and hesitation of possible consequence.

    It’s this second thing China has employed, to very good effect so far. Plus, implied threat is by a wide margin, not even the most powerful means for China to keep Taiwan “in check”. No, the most potent tool, aside from the difficult to gauge cultural ties, is of course the enormous benefit Taiwan derives from its largest trade partner by far; no one even comes close.

    The most likely action to be undertaken by China if Taiwan were to declare independence would be economic pressure, refusal to trade, and the finding of other sources (of which there are many) for what Taiwan sells. Plus, a ramp up of Chinese domestic production for Taiwan’s microchips – it must be remembered that the gap between the cutting edge (which Taiwan has) and what is produced in China is narrowing rapidly.

    Thanks to the Trump trade pressure, it turns out that China was capable of producing high-end technology all along, but preferred to turn a profit via importation, and was reluctant to make the large investments to jump-start domestic supplies. But that is no longer the case, clearly.

    China did not and does not want Taiwan to secede for reasons of historical grievance (The Century of Humiliation), and as a sign that all of China would re-unite, eventually (even if “eventually” takes a couple of centuries). But given the sustained and rapid domestic development of China, a Taiwan declaration of independence would be irritating, not severe in effect.

    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
  202. @Thorfinnsson

    All this theorizing would have made sense if China were as aggressive as the Empire. It isn’t. So, the US aggression against China would quickly result in nuclear retaliation. That would cripple the US economically, militarily, and psychologically. Not to mention that this escalation would happen so fast that anything that takes more than a week would be useless. Japan and even obsequious Australia would stay away to avoid some nukes hitting them.

    • Agree: Levtraro
    • Replies: @AP
    , @reiner Tor
  203. Aedib says:
    @AnonfromTN

    They are crying now about Russian brutality and lack of diplomacy because of the #smalldickenergy hashtag. Someone in the Russian embassy in Minsk is ROFLing now.

  204. AP says:
    @AnonfromTN

    US aggression against China would quickly result in nuclear retaliation

    Not over Taiwan.

  205. @AnonfromTN

    China has way fewer nukes than the US, while its cities are more densely populated. So a nuclear war would be more devastating for China than for the US.

    Also China not having enough nukes for the US means that they wouldn’t be able to spare a few nukes for Japan either.

  206. @Thorfinnsson

    It would also no doubt be a tough slog through Vietnam.

    I think it would prevail over Vietnam easily. In 1979, China achieved its main objectives in Vietnam in less than a month while using only about 20% of its military, declining to use its Navy or Air Force for fear of Soviet intervention, suffering a comparable number of military casualties, and all this not long after the Cultural Revolution.

    The gap today is vastly bigger between them – economic gap is 2x greater, military gap is like 10x greater. I suspect China will stomp Vietnam in a matter of days.

    • Agree: Thorfinnsson
    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    , @Thorfinnsson
  207. Mikhail says: • Website
    @AnonfromTN

    This time around they distinguish between the armed rebel presence in Donbass and the Russian military in Russia, as opposed to lumping the two together as one.

  208. @Anatoly Karlin

    Though the Vietnamese also held back many of their best troops for the defense of the capital, and they mostly used irregulars and often guerrilla tactics. It was a limited war which brought no glory to either side, and China had very limited objectives, certainly not the destruction and permanent occupation of Vietnam.

    Though I find it possible that Vietnam would simply be forced to side with China, certainly China could provide both carrots and sticks there.

    • Agree: AltanBakshi
  209. @Thorfinnsson

    “Japan has the world’s fourth largest navy (with very modern and capable ships), the world’s third largest manufacturing base,”

    Yes but China has longer range and faster flying anti ship missiles than Japan and the US. China also has a larger manufacturing base than the US and Japan and Germany combined! The only hope would be that China hasn’t mastered anti submarine warfare yet. Either way it wouldn’t be pretty for Japan.

    “America and its allies have a greater ability to project power into Indonesia and Malaysia than does China”

    You seem to be confusing Asia with NATO in Europe… The leaders have both openly rejected US overtures. Why would they turn against their largest trade partner – who has nukes – for a country far far away. No telling what happens in the Philippines after Duterte because they were a colony for so long they have cultural affinity to the US. If another Duterte type gets in who doesn’t want to be a puppet of the west – then it keeps them out as well.

    For whatever reasons NATO is able to keep pushing closer to Russia – but that’s not the case in Russia. And why on earth would China want to invade South East Asia??? That again is like suggesting Russia should invade the old Soviet bloc to stop NATO. All of those scenarios presage WW3. China has indeed de-emphasized the army and boosted the navy and airforce. Why? There is no longer tension with the Soviets. And war is not the same as it was 70 years ago anyway.

    Is the US willing to risk WW3 over Crimea and Taiwan?

    • Agree: AltanBakshi
    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
  210. @reiner Tor

    “Misters expelled diplomats, our plane is begining to take off, the request is to turn off your spy communication devices”.

    • Thanks: reiner Tor
  211. Levtraro says:
    @Aedib

    Proportional to the square of the inverse of their sizes is more Newtonian.

  212. I think it’s pretty much a guessing game to know which one of those is better. Even the frequently thrown out RCS numbers of these planes are impossible to compare as they are a mixture of propaganda and measurements of different things at best half understood by online military enthusiasts.

    https://eurasiantimes.com/chinese-analyst-compares-j-20-with-su-57-jet-says-need-to-lear-a-lot-from-russian-stealth-fighters/

  213. @AnonZero

    Well, now this is an interesting point. Suffice it to say that I do not agree.

  214. @Anatoly Karlin

    There’s no question that China would defeat Vietnam, but the 1979 situation is not as illustrative as it first appears for the reasons that the Magyar Miracle stated. In 1979 Vietnam consciously chose to avoid engaging Chinese forces, and China failed to achieve its political objectives and ultimately withdrew.

    A modern Sino-Vietnamese conflict brought by a Chinese dash to reach the Straits of Malacca would see the Chinese advancing through challenging terrain, fighting a coalition, and dealing with a partisan campaign. The good news for the Chinese is that presumably today’s Vietnamese are less willing to engage in the sacrifices of their grandfathers.

    • Replies: @AnonZero
    , @showmethereal
  215. @showmethereal

    Yes but China has longer range and faster flying anti ship missiles than Japan and the US. China also has a larger manufacturing base than the US and Japan and Germany combined! The only hope would be that China hasn’t mastered anti submarine warfare yet. Either way it wouldn’t be pretty for Japan.

    The issue isn’t that China isn’t a more powerful state than Japan, it’s that the combination of US and Japan (along with other allies) is more formidable than the US alone. Furthermore, China’s geographical position is much less favorable than that of America and its allies.

    Also, a word on anti-ship missiles. The greater the range and the faster the speed of the anti-ship missile, the larger and more expensive the missile is. There are tradeoffs. And, obviously, anti-ship missiles are not exactly the only weapon with which a naval war is waged.

    You seem to be confusing Asia with NATO in Europe… The leaders have both openly rejected US overtures. Why would they turn against their largest trade partner – who has nukes – for a country far far away. No telling what happens in the Philippines after Duterte because they were a colony for so long they have cultural affinity to the US. If another Duterte type gets in who doesn’t want to be a puppet of the west – then it keeps them out as well.

    First, the alignment decisions of weak states in peacetime are not sustainable in wartime. A country which professes neutrality in a great power war which offers important benefits to the belligerents will be forced to choose sides or be attacked. This has happened repeatedly in past great power conflicts. A good example of this can be been in the Balkans in both World Wars.

    Second, peacetime trade will not necessarily prevent this in the slightest, nor is it necessarily the only factor which states evaluate. This thread is about the Ukraine, and the Russians like to point out that they invested $200bn into the Ukraine whereas America spent $5bn on “democracy promotion”. The upper classes in many states which trade more with China than America have their assets invested in American markets and send their children to American universities. The preferred stance of these Asian states is, understandably, not to be forced to choose between China and America. In a war they would be forced to choose for the simple reason that China’s sea lines of communication are of crucial importance.

    For whatever reasons NATO is able to keep pushing closer to Russia – but that’s not the case in Russia. And why on earth would China want to invade South East Asia??? That again is like suggesting Russia should invade the old Soviet bloc to stop NATO. All of those scenarios presage WW3.

    It’s not that China wants to invade Southeast Asia or any other place. Some commenters seem to think I’m suggesting China intends aggressive expansion, which is not my suggestion. It’s that if it comes to war with America, for whatever reason, military logic may compel the Chinese to undertake certain campaigns. If America and its allies choose to deny battle to China on Chinese terms (i.e. in the Straits of Taiwan) and pursue a distant blockade, then to break the blockade one possible favorable option for China is to invade Southeast Asia overland and reach the Straits of Malacca. Then Chinese land-based airpower can clear the Straits.

    China has indeed de-emphasized the army and boosted the navy and airforce. Why? There is no longer tension with the Soviets. And war is not the same as it was 70 years ago anyway.

    In a lot of ways war “matured” in the 1940s and has remained the same. On land battles today would be contested by armored forces with motorized logistics, and in the air the goal remains to destroy the enemy’s airpower so that one’s own airpower can be brought to bear on the enemy. The biggest changes are probably in the naval arena. During the Second World War the only guided anti-ship missiles were command-guided glide bombs, and these only saw limited use (spectacularly sinking the Italian battleship Roma).

    Is the US willing to risk WW3 over Crimea and Taiwan?

    The US has already proven it is not willing to risk war over Crimea, thankfully.

    But I’m not sure the US is unwilling to risk it over Taiwan. The US officially retains a posture of strategic ambiguity over Taiwan, which has for many years been a wise policy that has well served American interests. But American political and “strategic” culture is increasingly oriented around “great power competition” with China and even outright xenophobia. It should also be pointed out that any American President which “lost” Taiwan without firing a shot would immediately be attacked by domestic political opponents. Worse still, one could have an unscrupulous and failing American President who would choose to contrive Taiwanese independence in order to shore up his sagging administration.

    Personally my view is that America’s Taiwan policy is obsolete in light of China’s growing power. My preferred policy would be for us to sell Taiwan to China. The odds of this happening are zero.

    Thus, my position is that Taiwan is the most dangerous issue in the world today and can genuinely ignite World War 3.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    , @Levtraro
    , @zepplin
  216. AnonZero says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    I am a bit confused here. Why an overland dash to the Straits of Malacca, when it would be much easier to occupy the relevant terrain from the sea via amphibious and parachute assault?

    In all likelihood, even needing the Straits for trade in the first place would presume that the South China Sea were free of American interference (otherwise, the Straits per se serve no purpose for China), and therefore why slog over land, when marines, paratroopers and follow on armored forces would serve much better?

    Seems a little strange attacking a nation (Vietnam) frontally, when they can simply be asked to stay neutral while China deals with Singapore, and a U.S. expeditionary force that Singaporeans would be coerced to allow in.

    Slightly off-topic: There are actually 3 relevant “Straits” – Malacca, Djakarta and Lombok. All are able to access the Indian Ocean.

    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
  217. Mr. Hack says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    “My preferred policy would be for us to sell Taiwan to China.”

    In the modern world, where words like “freedom”, “self-determination”, “sovereignty” and “nation state” are made to sound trite and contrived, I can kind of see how you came to your conclusion. You did, however, forget to mention that any war in far off East Asia would undoubtedly become very unpopular, as the memory that resulted in Vietnam has not receded that far from America’s memory.

    Just out of curiosity, how many pieces of silver (or gold) should fill America’s dwindling reserves of precious metals in order for it to totally turn its back on Taiwan?

  218. @AnonZero

    The impetus for this hypothetical exercise is that America and its allies would choose a distant blockade strategy rather than contesting the conflict close to China’s shore. In the distant blockade it thus becomes logical for China to gain control over the Straits of Malacca via the means available to it.

    The problem with amphibious operations to attain this is that large naval movements might be detected and invite interception, and additionally such operations would by dint of geography transit near Vietnam which is hostile to China. Thus to Chinese planners an overland invasion may appear to be less risky than an amphibious invasion.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  219. @Mr. Hack

    My position is that a war in East Asia, or really any great power war, would be catastrophic. While Taiwan is somewhat useful in terms of hemming China into the Western Pacific, the cost now exceeds the benefit. Thus America would be wise to rid itself of this tarbaby.

    The price for selling Taiwan to China should be a large, round number. Say $1 trillion. China could pay this by simply delivering $1 trn in Treasuries that it holds to the United States Treasury. In order to avoid impairing its reserves, the delivery could be arranged over a decade. Ideally it would not be a simple sale, but in fact a comprehensive settlement addressing numerous problems. It could also include things such as a scheduled withdrawal of US troops from South Korea along with recognizing certain (but not all) Chinese territorial claims.

    • Thanks: Yellowface Anon
    • LOL: Blinky Bill
  220. Mr. Hack says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    I really don’t see the logic of your “solution” here? In most cases, a sale is made between two parties, one that has something to barter away, and the other that has an interest in buying such product. I wasn’t aware that the US owned Taiwan? Perhaps, a similar retro deal should be made between Russia and the US too, for Crimea? The Crimea has perhaps more strategic importance than Taiwan for the West, and is surrounded by underwater energy wells? Perhaps, two trillion?

    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
    , @Beckow
  221. Blinky Bill says: • Website
    @Thorfinnsson

    Thus America would be wise to rid itself of this tarbaby.

    [MORE]

  222. @Mr. Hack

    The logic is very simple.

    Taiwan is an issue of tremendous political, cultural, and national importance to the PRC. China’s power is ascendant, while America’s is stagnant or even in decline. By dint of geography, China has preponderance in the theater. Thus Taiwan is a dangerous liability to America, and the ability of America to aid Taiwan in defense declines each year. Furthermore, any armed conflict would be disastrous to all parties.

    The US doesn’t “own” Taiwan legally, but it’s obvious to all parties that Taiwan cannot defend itself alone against China. The existence of Taiwan as a self-governing entity therefore depends on an implicit security guarantee from the United States. The USA can and should simply barter away this guarantee. The ideal time to do so is yesterday, and failing that it should be done sooner rather than later.

    As for Crimea, well that ship has sailed. Russia and the Ukraine ought to work something out there, brokered by the Europeans.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    , @Levtraro
  223. @Blinky Bill

    This was probably the most enjoyable, yet implausible in Clown World, portion of the Wiki summary for The Bear and the Dragon:

    Ryan persuades NATO to admit Russia, and promises assistance against China to the Russian president. When the Chinese enter Siberia, the Russians repel their invasion force with help from the United States, causing heavy casualties on the Chinese side.

    • Agree: Aedib, Blinky Bill
    • LOL: showmethereal
    • Replies: @Blinky Bill
  224. Mr. Hack says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    Doesn’t the US have some sort of treaty obligations towards Taiwan, premised on its right to have its borders protected and not transgressable? Or would this be another case of the Budapest Memorandum syndrome?

  225. @Mr. Hack

    No, and because the US recognizes the PRC as the sole government of China no treaty with Taiwan is possible.

    Note also that, technically, Taiwan doesn’t have international borders with China (of course it does in practice). Rather both Taiwan and the PRC claim to be the legitimate government of China.

    US obligations to Taiwan are governed by the Taiwan Relations Act, which formally obligates the US to make available such things as needed for Taiwan to maintain its self-defense. Obviously this law could be repealed or simply ignored.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  226. @Mr. Hack

    Not answering your question but everyone here should know Taiwan’s main strategic value as the largest player in the semiconductor industry by a large margin, and that isn’t posed to change even with Chinese efforts to build up their own capacity in the mainland (and this build up is still partly based on technology transfers). Take the industry out in a war, and the world might have shortages of semiconductors for military use, with civilian use virtually being wiped out.

    China is more than able to reclaim Taiwan, but that can come at the cost of bombing much of the capacity by its own hands to cut supplies to the Atlanticist bloc. But after the capacity is rebuilt, China can leverage their control to deny access to the Atlanticist bloc and starve them of one of the most basic commodities in their plans for 4IR.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  227. @Yellowface Anon

    But after the capacity is rebuilt

    But would that even be possible without equipment from companies like the following: ASML (Netherlands), Tokyo Electron (Japan), Applied Materials (USA), Lam Research (USA), etc. (each one of these incorporated and headquartered in the US or one of its allies)? I don’t think it would be. My guess is that the Taiwanese semiconductor industry would cease to be cutting edge shortly after the Chinese conquest as it would not be able to replace its equipment as it would slowly be getting obsolete.

  228. I’m a little disappointed. I was looking forward to seeing Putin kick some Ukrainian butt.

    • Replies: @AnonfromTN
  229. Mr. Hack says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    US obligations to Taiwan are governed by the Taiwan Relations Act, which formally obligates the US to make available such things as needed for Taiwan to maintain its self-defense. Obviously this law could be repealed or simply ignored.

    Or enhanced. Perhaps enhancements to defense could help deter PRC from any hasty and costly intrusions? One wonders how resolute the locals are in maintaining the status quo?

  230. @reiner Tor

    There’s no one else other than South Korea to fill up the gaping hole created by this scenario.
    Would this be one of the triggers for the collapse for digital-technological industrial complex in the World?

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  231. Levtraro says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    The biggest changes [in war since the 40s] are probably in the naval arena.

    Mmh. The biggest change in war since the 40s is the development of nuclear arsenals and the means to deliver nuclear warheads across the globe. You need to take that into account in your speculations. The USA has a much bigger nuclear arsenal than China but China has enough to destroy Japan and many large cities in the USA.

    Wars between nuclear states will most certainly escalate to nuclear exchanges, it is anyone’s guess how fast, but I think it will happen very fast.

  232. Blinky Bill says: • Website
    @The Wild Geese Howard

    This was probably the most enjoyable

    Nothing will ever surpass this, at least for me.

    [MORE]

    • Agree: Bashibuzuk
    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  233. Levtraro says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    The price for selling Taiwan to China should be a large, round number. Say $1 trillion. China could pay this by simply delivering $1 trn in Treasuries that it holds to the United States Treasury.

    Lol. The only problem with your solution is tha USA does not own Taiwan.

  234. Levtraro says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    The US doesn’t “own” Taiwan legally, but it’s obvious to all parties that Taiwan cannot defend itself alone against China.

    Your logic sucks, sorry, but it is risible. Lots of countries depend on the USA for their defense, that does not make them something that the USA can sell.

    • Disagree: Thorfinnsson
    • Replies: @AP
  235. @reiner Tor

    I just thought about it more, was it not the case that they found out that even the F-35 had some Chinese products (commodity level, but still) in the supply chain? Those seem to be easy to replace, but maybe it’d take time.

    It really depends on the type of component.

    There are boutique fabs in the US that currently make good money continuing low-volume production of critical electronic components for legacy avionics and radar systems.

    It’s actually a sensible business model because military equipment and programs operate on extended life cycles that are largely incompatible/inconceivable in the consumer space.

    Here is one such outfit:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rochester_Electronics

    In a major war with China those organizations would most certainly have their production schedules and outputs taken over by the US government.

  236. @Yellowface Anon

    There’s no one else other than South Korea to fill up the gaping hole created by this scenario.

    Both TSMC and Samsung are building state of the art fabs in the US right now, I guess those will be able to produce some chips. Intel’s chips are slightly less advanced, but they are not that far from the cutting edge, so if they were to step up, then it’d mean going back to the cutting edge of 2018 perhaps. (But like I said, there are the new fabs of Samsung and TSMC.)

    Also, as I wrote, the equipment needed to build these fabs is coming from the American sphere of interest (and with the exception of Japan usually not even from the Far East).

    • Replies: @The Wild Geese Howard
  237. @reiner Tor

    Both TSMC and Samsung are building state of the art fabs in the US right now, I guess those will be able to produce some chips.

    These are not projected to come online until 2023 or 2024. They are described as merely being, “a start,” to securing the US’ semi supply chain.

    https://www.anandtech.com/show/16483/samsung-in-the-usa-a-17-billion-usd-fab-by-late-2023

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/willyshih/2020/05/15/tsmcs-announcement-of-a-us-fab-is-big-news/?sh=44a6c9f72340

    https://pr.tsmc.com/english/news/2033

    It’s hard to imagine that Chinese strategic planners are unaware of this effort to reduce the importance of the Taiwan-based fabs.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    , @showmethereal
  238. @Fidelios Automata

    I’m a little disappointed. I was looking forward to seeing Putin kick some Ukrainian butt.

    These were military maneuvers planned many months ahead. Putin used them to scare the shit out of Ukies and their imperial puppet masters. Specifically to avoid having to kick Ukie butt now: time works for him, the longer he can postpone dealing with Ukrainian abscess, the easier it would be to deal with it.

    The situation with China and Taiwan is exactly he same: time works for China and against the Empire, so the longer China delays, the easier the task would be.

    • Replies: @Kazan
  239. @The Wild Geese Howard

    Yes, so the US would need to ration microchips and/or go back a few years in terms of development. And after 2023-24 it’d be a bit less of an issue.

    Compare that to the Chinese situation: after a war breaking out, it’d be completely (or almost completely) cut off from any cutting edge semiconductor technology, and it would have to go back almost a decade (and even ration that production), with little prospect of building up a cutting edge capacity for the duration of the war.

    • Replies: @showmethereal
  240. @Thorfinnsson

    “In 1979 Vietnam consciously chose to avoid engaging Chinese forces, and China failed to achieve its political objectives and ultimately withdrew.”

    That is plain false. China was never going to try to takeover Vietnam. It’s objective was to get them to leave Cambodia. What it did do is hold part of Vietnamese territory when it withdrew. There were skirmishes on the border for over a decade. China gave it back when Vietnam left Cambodia and then settled the border once and for all in 1991.

  241. @Mr. Hack

    “Just out of curiosity, how many pieces of silver (or gold) should fill America’s dwindling reserves of precious metals in order for it to totally turn its back on Taiwan?”

    Good question. My personal guess is about $1 trillion. Why? Well in Trump’s day a lot of the Steve Bannon crowd were shouting that the PRC should pay back all the bonds that the US was owed from the early 1900’s. That was the excuse they were trying to use to cancel the debt the US owes to the PRC. Well of course the PRC says it wasn’t us who signed the bonds so we shouldn’t pay (and it was never brought to court because the claims were dubious). The ROC also took all the national treasury to Taiwan when the government fled. So someone should suggest an even cancellation of all parties debts and financial claims the DPP party gets free passage to the US. The US can use the interest on the debt that it pays to the PRC currently to fund semiconductor manufacturing in the US – that it covets in Taiwan. Everyone should be happy – no?

  242. @Thorfinnsson

    Funny enough – I responded to Mr. Hack with a similar number. A war would cost more than 1 trillion. The GDP of the island per year is about half of that. Coupled with the fact the island “got away” with loot worth about that in todays dollars in gold and silver and currency and other valuable items – that sounds like a good deal.

    Though which claim of China would you not recognize??

    The official end to the Korean War would probably have to be done completely separately. Both North and South Korea want a form of reunification – but it’s not possible right now. Removing US troops and allowing for more free travel and economic integration would be great for both sides. The issue though are the nukes. Nobody – not even Russia and China wants NK to have them. At the same time they don’t want economic sanctions which stifles growth of that area of which all 3 (4 if you separate the Koreas) border each other. The other issue is how much Kim is willing to open the economy…

  243. Beckow says:
    @Mr. Hack

    Perhaps “two trillion” or perhaps the answer is here:

    In 3:26 precisely you get your answer. That Al Pacino was a cool dude at his time.

    • Agree: reiner Tor
    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    , @Mr. Hack
  244. @Beckow

    Why didn’t you just link the seven second video?

    Though it was good to watch the whole section, your comment would’ve benefited from the brevity of the video.

    Anyway, looks like a good and realistic Chinese counter-offer.

    • Replies: @Beckow
  245. Kazan says:
    @AnonfromTN

    The Ukies clearly feel their Soviet gift gas-transit system could be their “Cuban Missile crisis” equivalent.

    Without Russian gas deliveries via them to Europe, they fear the west will have no interest in the country outside of toilet-cleaning, prostitition and arms-smuggling. Just like USSR unfortunately mostly abandoned Cuba after the missile crisis.

    Cuba was or at least is competent as a state in numerous areas. Ukraine is not.

    Pandemic time in Europe with all the economic effects, if not in the US and UK so much, should be the time for Russia to reverse the blackmail in this equilibrium between the provider of the gas and those threatening not to buy it if not via Ukraine.

    • Replies: @showmethereal
  246. @The Wild Geese Howard

    There is a current article in Asia Times stating that the head of TSMC doubts US chip initiative. He said they are having trouble finding enough talent for the new fab in Arizona. And of course by 2024 – 5nm won’t be “cutting edge” anymore. He also said it doesn’t make much financial sense because even with US and Arizona gov subsidy – the costs of running the fab are considerably higher (which is one of the reason that type of cutting edge manufacturing left the US in the 1st place).
    In actuality – this writer is usually pro western – so it probably is worse than it sounds (behind the scenes)… He also didn’t note (because he is a pro western writer) that TSMC’s biggest issue is they are losing lots of engineers to SMIC – who pays higher salaries (even the two Co-CEO’s at SMIC both used to run R&D at TSMC).

    https://asiatimes.com/2021/04/tsmc-founder-doubts-us-competence-in-chip-making/

    • Thanks: reiner Tor, Vishnugupta
    • Replies: @The Wild Geese Howard
  247. @Kazan

    Good point about the Soviet era gas routes… But I’m perplexed as to how the industrial capacity in Ukraine seems to have just disappeared after the Soviet break up? Is that a incorrect view?

    • Replies: @AP
    , @AnonfromTN
    , @Vishnugupta
  248. @Thorfinnsson

    I think that it would be coming down to whether Russia would want to see China losing the war. The logic to join in the fun would be compelling, even if Russia would be predisposed to stay out of this. First, Russia wouldn’t want a world with a victorious America. Second, Russia wouldn’t want a victorious China which is bitter because Russia didn’t help it in its hour of need. This is the same logic which compelled Britain to join the First World War despite there being no formal obligation.

    As you noted, for China the logic would be towards an escalation by invading ostensibly neutral countries. This logic would be both weakened and strengthened by the Russian entry into the war. It would be weakened, because Russia would have many options to create serious oil shortages in America’s allies, for example by shutting down all oil exports from the Middle East. One easy way is to convince Iran to join the party (again, Iran would not want a world where America won the world war, but also wouldn’t want to alienate Russia and China in case they happened to win), but perhaps it’d be enough to open Iranian airspace to Russian bombers which could then thoroughly destroy the Qatari American base and the Saudi oil infrastructure.

    However, there is a chance that all this wouldn’t work, or wouldn’t be enough. But with Russia, the Eurasian powers would have an incentive to escalate further and initiate a nuclear first strike. They could start out by evacuating the population from the big cities to the countryside. They might try to blackmail the Americans into accepting the new status quo. But perhaps it’d only invite an American first strike..?

    Anyway, I think in a purely conventional war they’d need to invade or attack lots of neutral countries, or at least there’d be an incentive to do so, and that’d mean that they’d be the weaker side.

    Overall it seems that it’s better if such a war wouldn’t get started.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    , @AnonZero
  249. @reiner Tor

    Overall I believe that for both China and Russia the sweet spot for a big war would be roughly 10, or at least 5 years from now. So 2030 or at the earliest 2025.

  250. @reiner Tor

    It’s unimaginable now but I set up an R&D project between my original Russian partners and ASML that won a series of awards, including a NATO one. Measuring feature size.

    • Thanks: Blinky Bill
  251. AP says:
    @Levtraro

    He is talking about the USA selling its commitment to support and defend Taiwan.

    I don’t know enough about the situation to have an informed opinion. A Communist-Party run state is inherently distasteful. If Taiwan were run by White Guardist traditionalists I would support it no matter what, some principles are important. But it no longer seems to be. How “traditional Chinese” is Taiwan nowadays?

    • Replies: @Blinky Bill
    , @Levtraro
  252. @reiner Tor

    Not exactly…. Industry analysts expect SMIC to manufacture 7nm by the end of 2022 with no US tech embargo. ASML is now allowed to sell DUV’s. DUV can make 7nm with an extra step in the process.

    China lags in it’s own lithography but is now down to 28nm. But for almost every other tool they are down to 14 and 7nm processes (for the rest South Korean and Japanese companies have been gladly selling all the tools they can make). AMEC actually is used on the 5nm TSMC line believe or not (possibly Samsung as well).

    By 2024 the only real blockage for Mainland China is to get around the light source (which is the US tech) issue in the EUV’s to get to 5nm and below. It may take to 2026 for that (industry estimates)…

    ASML for one is not happy – that’s why their CEO came out and said it was dumb to try to stop China from getting EUV’s since they will eventually be able to do it on their own and then you lose out on market share

    https://seekingalpha.com/article/4415477-three-headwinds-facing-asml-s-non-euv-business-in-china

    • Thanks: reiner Tor
  253. Beckow says:
    @reiner Tor

    I enjoy the whole clip…it sets up the gap between what the “masters” think and how it is in reality.

    One day Chinese or Russians are going to give Anglos the same answer and just like the Senator there will be no place to go.

  254. AP says:
    @showmethereal

    how the industrial capacity in Ukraine seems to have just disappeared after the Soviet break up?

    It has declined heavily, but has not disappeared. If during Soviet times an industrial product was produced 70% in Russia and 30% in Ukraine, Russia could substitute the 30%, and the Ukrainian contribution and the factories producing it would disappear.

    Per wiki, in 2017, slightly less than 30% of Ukraine’s GDP was produced by industry. Ukraine’s profile of agriculture, industry and service sectors percentage of contribution to GDP is about the same as that of Argentina:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_sector_composition

    Although it has a bit less than half of Argentina’s nominal GDP.

  255. @showmethereal

    But I’m perplexed as to how the industrial capacity in Ukraine seems to have just disappeared after the Soviet break up? Is that a incorrect view?

    Industrial capacity is not like a brick of gold: it does not remain the same if you don’t do upgrading and modernization. This requires continuous investment, which owners with “steal and run away” mentality did not do. Thirty years of neglect and purely exploitative use by greedy oligarchs has brought it down to today’s low. It is not salvageable without hundreds of billions in investment today. Nobody would invest that much: Russia is investing in the development of its own capacity, whereas the key EU strategy is to destroy competition (EU virtually destroyed industry and much of agriculture in “new Europe” for that reason).

    So, as an industrial power Ukraine will never come back. Under current “leadership” it won’t come back in any other sphere, either. What remains is exporting cheap workforce for berry and fruit picking, toilet cleaning, menial work in nursing homes, and prostitution. Another opportunity is something that can be done remotely to take advantage of low price of workforce: some IT tasks and call centers, like India.

    Ukraine has dug itself into too deep a hole to come back within one or two decades. Besides, it has a humongous external debt and therefore is totally controlled by the IMF. As the history of many countries shows, in terms of economic destructiveness, IMF advice is second only to nukes.

    • Replies: @AP
    , @Jazman
    , @Showmethereal
  256. AP says:
    @AnonfromTN

    whereas the key EU strategy is to destroy competition (EU virtually destroyed industry and much of agriculture in “new Europe” for that reason).

    This is news to Poland and Slovakia that are full of booming factories owned by western EU countries.

    These firms are opening up a lot of low level factories in Ukraine producing cables and such things. This is how things start.

    But you have a blind spot for this. You had vehemently insisted that American auto companies had no more factories in the USA and had moved their production to Mexico. While living in the shadow of a massive GM factory in your TN.

    some IT tasks and call centers

    They do R & D, not simply “call centers.”

    it has a humongous external debt and therefore is totally controlled by the IMF

    Its debt to GDP peaked in 2016. As usual you are stuck in the past.

    Government debt to GDP was 50.3% in 2019, compared to 81% in 2016:

    https://tradingeconomics.com/ukraine/government-debt-to-gdp

    Not much different from Poland’s 45.6%:

    https://tradingeconomics.com/poland/government-debt-to-gdp

    • Replies: @AnonfromTN
  257. @showmethereal

    Ukrainian hi tech industrial production is(mostly was) basically three things

    1. Critical components of Russian products Zorya marine turbines,Mayak IR seekers for missiles etc.

    2.Finished products which had demand in ex USSR countries but were not compatible with western industry standards and thus had no significant demand outside the FSU countries.Antonov aircraft.

    3.Finished products that were dependent on Russian critical components like Zenit space launch vehicles powered by Russian RD 171 engine.

    Its conflict with Russia has more or less permanently ruined all three classes of products and there is no foreseeable future in which Russia trusts Ukraine enough to source key components and products from it once again.

    • Agree: AltanBakshi
    • Thanks: Blinky Bill
    • Replies: @Showmethereal
  258. Jazman says:
    @AnonfromTN

    I talked to one guy molecular genetics Matthew Rok he attacked me for calling Pfizer and Moderna fraud . He also sent me numerous studies and peer reviews about vaccine testing etc
    I will post his response here with links . If you have time to check . I would like to read your oppinion.
    A prefusion SARS-CoV-2 spike RNA vaccine is highly immunogenic and prevents lung infection in non-human primates | bioRxiv https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.09.08.280818v1.full?fbclid=IwAR171cNJxAox5YRr8D3iHXvYD7DiuSw5NbjN29nl6kH0srxFU8sNFUMlR40
    He also said that mrna can be chemically modified and need very short time for spike protein to elicit immune response.
    Phase I/II study of COVID-19 RNA vaccine BNT162b1 in adults | Nature https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-020-2639-4?fbclid=IwAR1AS-jKycLoe-qliSsZDn_MSey9VGylCbO1gQKryWKLImyANvsDWOjHP4E#ref-CR18
    Safety and Efficacy of the BNT162b2 mRNA Covid-19 Vaccine | NEJM https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa2034577?fbclid=IwAR0zbPqmw0Qats1ZRzk2q5x6EQfwDp0IBAEoaV8beyv7yJeszDnYDk0bHes

    • Replies: @AnonfromTN
  259. @Jazman

    I don’t have time to go into details. Here is what I know for sure, having worked with in vitro produced mRNAs and cell-free translation for 30+ years. mRNA is extremely unstable, outside and inside the cell. mRNA can be chemically modified to increase stability, but ribosomes (molecular machines that use mRNA to make encoded protein) do not work with chemically modified mRNAs, so that increased stability is useless for protein production.

    As to publications, BioRxiv is where you can publish something before peer-review. Simply put, whatever you want. Based on my experience of peer reviewing papers for various journals (including Nature) for 20+ years, I can tell you that the reviewer judges what’s in the manuscript, and has no way of figuring whether something was omitted or some data were cooked. Things reported in high-impact journals are more often found false than things reported in mid-range journals for obvious reasons: the kudos are much greater, so the temptation to fudge your data to make it look better is very strong. There is a joke in science: “even though it was published in Nature, it might still be true”. The same goes for NEJM – it’s a top clinical journal. The temptation to fudge the data obtained in clinical trials is also huge: clinical trials are very expensive. To give an example: Merck’s Vioxx was “shown” to be safe and effective in Merck-funded clinical trial, which later was demonstrated to be a lie. FDA bought this lie and approved Vioxx.

    Here is some info (studiously avoided by bought and paid for media) on “safety” of vaccine used in Israel:
    https://www.unz.com/gatzmon/the-israeli-people-committees-april-report-on-the-lethal-impact-of-vaccinations/

    Frankly, I came to treat Western MSM the way I did Soviet ones in the USSR: if you assume that everything media tells you is a lie, you’d be right in ~99% of cases. Scientific journals are somewhat better. Based on my experience of trying to reproduce published data, about a third of papers are BS, and this fraction is much higher in high-impact (>10) and very low impact (<1) journals.

    • Agree: Jazman
    • Replies: @Jazman
    , @Vishnugupta
  260. @showmethereal

    He said they are having trouble finding enough talent for the new fab in Arizona.

    This doesn’t surprise me at all. I spent the second half of the 90s studying for an undergrad engineering degree at a top US university.

    All the Woke junk was pretty obvious then and was already beginning to degrade the quality of the education.

    There were plenty of unqualified people being pushed through on the basis of their sex and/or ethnicity. I can’t imagine how bad the wokeness situation is now. I bet the annual cohorts of quality heritage American STEM grads are shockingly small.

    …TSMC’s biggest issue is they are losing lots of engineers to SMIC – who pays higher salaries…

    Well, the Chinese have to do *something* with all that cash we insouciant Americans spent on cheap plastic crap from the mainland.

    • Replies: @216
  261. Jazman says:
    @AnonfromTN

    Thank you so much for your time it is perfect answer

  262. @AP

    They do R & D, not simply “call centers.”

    LOL. Looks like you know about IT less than I know about nuclear physics. Like in anything, there is a lot of low-grade routine work in IT R&D. This work requires neither high qualification nor creativity. It is now outsourced to places with cheap workforce, like Ukraine and India.

    • Replies: @AP
  263. @AnonfromTN

    I was wondering if you could help me decide which vaccine to take.

    There are basically 3 options:

    1. AstraZeneca Oxford
    2.Covaxin which is an indigenous whole viron vaccine
    https://www.bharatbiotech.com/covaxin.html
    3.Sputnik V

    I am inclined towards Covaxin as it appears to be the safest and made using a decades old proven technology but would appreciate your input on this issue.

    • Replies: @AnonfromTN
    , @reiner Tor
  264. Mr. Hack says:
    @Beckow

    Since you seem to enjoy the Godfather trilogy (this was taken from the second installment), try reading the original novel written by Mario Puzo. I think that it was a modern masterpiece that includes a lot of detail that isn’t included within the film adaptation. You wont regret reading it, a useful addendum to the film version.

    • Replies: @AnonfromTN
  265. Easy Pete says:

    What about the Crimean drought? I read that it is a matter of invade or depopulate.

    • Replies: @AnonfromTN
  266. @Vishnugupta

    I am not an MD, so legally can’t give medical advice. Historically, two types of vaccines worked: 1) those based on killed or attenuated pathogen (in your list that’s Covaxin); 2) those based on adenoviruses expressing one or more surface antigens of a pathogen (in your list it’s AstraZeneca and Sputnik). AstraZeneca is based on monkey adenovirus (don’t ask me why – this was beyond stupid), whereas Sputnik is based on human adenovirus. So, AstraZeneca is out of running, which leaves a choice of two. You want to look at their relative safety record and efficiency and decide (nothing is ever perfect, so there must be some tradeoff somewhere). Unfortunately, you can’t trust Western MSM or Wiki, as they are full of lies, so look for other sources of info.

    • Thanks: Vishnugupta
    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  267. @Mr. Hack

    Have to agree: the original Godfather book is really good, the other two are way below that level. Movie is movie, you have to skip a lot to make a movie based on a book.

    • Agree: Mr. Hack
    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    , @Kazan
  268. Mr. Hack says:
    4616370

    I wouldn’t worry much about Geraldina’s new career as a toilet cleaner in the UK. He’s always been known as one who loved to spend time in the bathroom:

    The “Lurker” spending quality time unwinding after a long roadtrip on the concert hall circuit. 🙂

    • Agree: AP
    • Replies: @Mulga Mumblebrain
  269. AP says:
    @AnonfromTN

    Unlike you, I at least know that R & D work is not “call center” work.

    https://borgenproject.org/ukrainian-inventions/

    [MORE]

    Grammarly: Grammarly was founded in Ukraine by Alex Shevchenko and Max Lytvyn in 2009. Grammarly uses AI software to proofread text on sites like Google, LinkedIn, various social media sites and more, while offering grammatical corrections. It is now a U.S.-based company and a widely popular tool for producing academic papers, professional documents and other bodies of text.

    Snapchat Filters: Snapchat filters and lenses first came about when Snapchat acquired Ukrainian startup, Looksery. Looksery is a facial recognition software that allows users to put filters on themselves while video chatting. Looksery was bought in 2015, started by a Ukrainian team with Victor Shaburov as the CEO. Snapchat uses the technology to create its filters, one of the many successful and important updates to the social media app. Instagram, another social media app, followed in the footsteps of Snapchat and introduced a version of Instagram photo filters in 2018.

    Apps for Deaf People: BeWarned, a Ukrainian-based startup co-founded by Vitaliy Potapchuck, is an application that people who are deaf can download on their phones to help them communicate with others. Potapchuck is also deaf and designed the app to pick up possible dangerous sounds and call for emergency help. BeWarned also makes other software for those who are deaf and hard of hearing.

    Virtual Reality Gloves: In 2016, a Ukrainian team of engineers created a prototype virtual reality glove that allows users to “feel” virtual reality items as if they were real. The glove mimics real-life hand motions and is used for a variety of things besides virtual reality gaming. Healthcare professionals can use the glove to study mobility and disease treatments. Co-founder, Denis Pankrushev, wanted the technology to “open new horizons for mankind.” This opened doors for virtual reality innovation and put Ukrainian technology startups in the spotlight.

    Uber for Yachts: The company CharterClick was started by three Ukrainian immigrants in Dubai to provide an easy way to rent a boat or luxury yacht for events. The team created CharterClick to show that complicated tasks like renting an expensive cruise with a full crew, can be completed in a short amount of time with just a few clicks. The service operates in more than 40 countries and is dubbed “the world’s most convenient vessel booking service.”

    • Thanks: Mr. Hack
  270. Mr. Hack says:
    @AnonfromTN

    The films were great and afforded a visual look that is hard to beat too. The romantic hiatus in Sicily, the wedding scene in the original film, the glamorous casino shots in Havana in the second, the helicopter attack on the big mafia powwow in the third. I actually was quite amazed at the philosophical conversations that Michael had with the Cardinal in the third film when Michael confesses the murder of his brother. Some pretty heady stuff for a Hollywood movie. Both medias excelled at presenting something the other wasn’t quite as good at getting accross. Fictional writing and filmmaking at the highest levels.

    • Replies: @Beckow
    , @Kazan
  271. Mr. Hack says:
    @Bashibuzuk

    Here’s a really pleasant after dinner liqueur:

    A little off topic, but let’s drink to peace, eh?

    • Agree: Bashibuzuk, Blinky Bill
    • Replies: @Mulga Mumblebrain
  272. @Easy Pete

    What about the Crimean drought? I read that it is a matter of invade or depopulate.

    It ain’t that severe. Artesian water is current temporary solution, desalination is supposed to be the long-term one. This requires energy, but Crimea can produce 2-3 times more electricity than it needs, so there is plenty of energy to spare. This would take time, like electricity problem before it. Russia is bent on finding a solution that does not make Crimea dependent on Ukraine in any way.

  273. Beckow says:
    @Mr. Hack

    I read the book, good stuff, so are the movies. Al Pacino is slated to be in the new Gucci biopic – in my view a big mistake; he is too earthy, too genuinely Italian, and he will play a Gucci aristocrat who had very little of that. Bad casting has destroyed more movies than bad directing or writing. Bad casting decisions are correlated with a society in decline: cronyism, nepotism, political casting (a black Ann Boleyn).

    I have been intrigued for a few years by the obvious discrepancy in the American culture between what it used to be like and what it is today. Most today’s Hollywood output is unwatchable. A lot of Americans go on and on about their soft power. With today’s culture they won’t get far – junk is junk, even with distribution monopolies it repulses more than it attracts.

    Eventually there will be a seminal cultural moment when the world says to an ageing and visibly powerless Washington: “you get nothing“. And just like the hapless Senator, Washington will scupper off to have a drink, smile and pretend that all is well. Like what has just happened with Ukraine.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  274. @Mr. Hack

    I prefer krupniks, which brings all the Slavs together in worship of the great God Apius.

  275. 216 says: • Website
    @The Wild Geese Howard

    This doesn’t surprise me at all. I spent the second half of the 90s studying for an undergrad engineering degree at a top US university.

    All the Woke junk was pretty obvious then and was already beginning to degrade the quality of the education.

    Perhaps due to generational turnover, this generally remained a minority position on campus and largely absent outside until 2008.

    IMO, it was the creation of “JournoList” by Ezra Klein, in order to rig press coverage in favor of Obama, that started the Awokening.

    • Disagree: The Wild Geese Howard
  276. @Mr. Hack

    A great pianist who wasted his talent.

  277. Kazan says:
    @AnonfromTN

    I believe it was the ol’ commentator here, Gerard russia resident, who made the observation that the only Western actor capable of playing Putin would be Robert Duvall.

    Neutral/benign persona, similar mannerisms – I couldnt think of anyone else capable of playing VVP.

    • Replies: @utu
  278. Mr. Hack says:
    @Beckow

    I don’t think that anybody in Ukraine is pretending that “all is well”. Ukraine has a lot of problems, like most places, no doubt more than other places that don’t have an 800 lb guerilla breathing down its neck. Better than other places too:

    • Replies: @Kazan
  279. @showmethereal

    It’s great to see the American ‘Gods Upon the Earth’ shoot themselves in the head with their tech war on China, safe in their racist assumption that the Chinese cannot innovate, only copy their White betters. Funny. The Chinese will NEVER reach Western levels of self-deluded bluster, however.

  280. Kazan says:
    @Mr. Hack

    Never seen the 3rd Godfather film, and I have no intention to as I hear it’s garbage.

    The first 2 are of course great films.

    ” friends close and enemies even closer” is often-said Russian expression that is famously mentioned in the second film.

    The main bad guy in the film, Jewish villain, established one of the most famous acting schools in Hollywood – and he was tutored by 1 of the Russian greats, Stanislavski.

    I have read before that the film producer is based on one of the major studios real-life Russian-Jewish chiefs.

    Does the book make the young Godfather in Sicily then New York for the second film, as sympathetic and ” just trying to feed his family” BS in becoming a mafia boss, as portrayed on film ?

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    , @Mikhail
  281. Kazan says:
    @Mr. Hack

    If that’s Libya, which has much higher wages that ukrops do – then you are in no position to comment.

    Being the poorest country in Europe, the most poor white country on the planet, is not a good starting point to be making any relative comparisons, especially when left in Soviet times with infrastructure to be among the world leaders in 7 high-skilled industries, plus agriculture, plus gas transit revenues, educated population and more.

    No real explanation as to why the way richer and superior managed Belarus has significant oil refining operations, earning billions every year – but since post-Soviet time Ukraine has devolved into having pitifully low operations in this sector

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  282. Mr. Hack says:
    @Kazan

    The main bad guy in the film, Jewish villain, established one of the most famous acting schools in Hollywood – and he was tutored by 1 of the Russian greats, Stanislavski.

    You wouldn’t know this from watching the film. So you’re saying that the fictional character, Hyman Ross, was actually based on a real Russian Hollywood character? Within the film he’s portrayed as your typical cosmopolitan type blending in seamlessly into the American lifestyle, watching baseball games on TV etc. Tell us more about the real character and how Puzo chose him as a model for the fictional figure.

    No, as I recall (and its been a long time since I’ve read the book) I don’t think the book quite emphasized the “Robin Hood” aspect of Don Corleone, but it’s still there to a lesser degree than what is portrayed in the second film.

  283. Mr. Hack says:
    @Kazan

    It’s somewhere in Syria.

  284. @AnonfromTN

    AstraZeneca is based on monkey adenovirus (don’t ask me why – this was beyond stupid)

    It’s based on a monkey adenovirus because you might already have met the human adenovirus and thus have immunity to it, which would reduce its efficacy. I don’t know how this problem was overcome with the Sputnik vaccine, but it’s a usual problem. (E.g. this is why they were using two different adenoviruses for the two different shots of the Sputnik V. I think the AstraZeneca vaccine uses the same virus for both shots – now this probably makes it less effective, unless I’m mistaken.)

    I don’t think the issue is using a monkey adenovirus per se, but somehow the AstraZeneca vaccine is slightly less safe than the Sputnik. It’s also less effective, perhaps because of the use of only one adenovirus (so the second shot is not very effective), but perhaps because of some other variable.

    Overall the Sputnik seems safer and more effective than the AstraZeneca vaccine, so I would also choose it over the AstraZeneca vaccine.

    • Replies: @utu
  285. @Vishnugupta

    Disclaimer: this is not my area of expertise, I merely read about these in articles, interviews with virologists, etc.

    The whole virus vaccine is usually less effective, but is usually somewhat more robust to new mutations. It’s also more likely to cause autoimmune diseases.

    Basically the inactivated whole virus contains all the proteins of the virus. It’s more difficult to get it into the cells in the absence of some active component, so the immune response will be lower. However, it will involve all the proteins of the virus. This is a blessing and a curse at the same time. A blessing, because mutations will only affect one protein at a time, and a curse, because covid has many proteins similar to human proteins, and thus the chances of triggering an autoimmune disease are much higher. (It must be noted that the virus itself might trigger the very same thing. Also it’s only going to be known after years or decades of experience.)

    Another big issue with the whole virus vaccines is that the virus protein which your immune system meets by far the most often is the spike protein, so immunity against the other proteins is only going to be of limited use. Not totally useless, but still not very much help.

    So the adenovirus vaccines only give you the spike protein (which is the most important protein by a wide margin), a way stronger protection against that one protein, but if it changes, you will lose more of the protection than with the whole virus. (But because the bulk of the protection is coming from the spike protein anyway, the difference is not necessarily huge.)

    On balance, I’d choose Sputnik: I think the advantages of the adenovirus vaccines outweigh their only disadvantage, and Sputnik seems to be the better of the two adenovirus vaccines.

    • Thanks: Vishnugupta, Blinky Bill
    • Replies: @Vishnugupta
  286. zepplin says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    The problem with your analysis is that US either has access to US+Japan’s combined formidableness or has the geographical advantage, but not both.

    The US can pursue a off-shore blockade strategy in which Japan can pretend to be neutral by not providing overt military support, or it can attempt to win outright in East Asia with Japan and Korean support, but it can’t have its cake and eat it too.

    If the US chooses the off-shore blockade, China can choose to 1) hunker down and take it, 2) escalate locally against Japan, anything from counter-blockade to assulting US assets, or 3) attempt to sweep across Central Asia / Southeast Asia.

    If the US chooses to fight in East China instead, whether by its own initiative or in response to China’s escalation against Japan, then it will not have the geographical/logistical advantage even if Japan is fully committed.

  287. @showmethereal

    I’d imagine the war, if it broke out tomorrow, wouldn’t last until 2026. Though I might be mistaken.

    Also, like I said, it’d likely escalate all the way to a full scale nuclear war. I hope it won’t happen.

    • Replies: @Showmethereal
  288. @reiner Tor

    It would appear that both types of vaccines are excellent at preventing severe covid but Sputnik V is better at protecting against the occurrence of even mildly symptomatic covid.

    However this needs to be weighed against the fact that adenovirus vector vaccines are being adopted en mass for the first time and thus have more unknown unknowns vis a vis side effects like rare blood clots and thus as a class of vaccines are more unsafe.

    I would never consider mRNA or DNA vaccines.

    Also as per an antibody test conducted late last year it would appear I have already had asymptomatic covid (the neutralizing antibody count was less than 1/10 of a typical patient who has recovered from symptomatic but non severe covid but I guess I still have immune system memory)so I don’t think the additional benefits of taking Sputnik V is justify the risks in my case.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  289. Blinky Bill says: • Website
    @AP

    How “traditional Chinese” is Taiwan nowadays?

    Ancestor Cry

    [MORE]

    .
    Think Think (Chinese: 想想; pinyin: Xiǎngxiǎng) and Ah Tsai (阿才; Ācái) are two cats belonging to the President of the Republic of China Tsai Ing-wen. Think Think is a female grey tabby, while Ah Tsai is ginger, and male. Tsai Ing-wen is one of the first women to lead an Asian state without coming from a political dynasty.

    .

    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
  290. Levtraro says:
    @AP

    He is talking about the USA selling its commitment to support and defend Taiwan.

    I know, and it is not just hilarious, thinking that China would buy USA commitment to one of her provinces, but it is also very jewish, a typically jewish way of seeing things.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  291. @Blinky Bill

    Manchus believed that Southern Hans are more susceptible to homosexuality, especially people of Fujian, maybe it’s true, Taiwan is a Southern state after all, and was historically part of Fujian. Oh well, re-unification is only a matter of time, and all men can be reformed through hard labour.

    • Agree: Daniel Chieh
    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
    , @Showmethereal
  292. @YetAnotherAnon

    Churchill knew how to write. Someday I must finish his “Malakand Field Force”

  293. utu says:
    @Kazan

    Ed Harris

    • Replies: @Kazan
  294. utu says:
    @reiner Tor

    Overall the Sputnik seems safer and more effective than the AstraZeneca vaccine

    While results on efficacy were published and thus vaccines can be compared, safety data are mostly anecdotal. The Lancet study of Sputnik V was based on n=16,000 cases. Serious safety issue like blood clots may require larger samples to be detected and quantified.

    https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(21)00234-8/fulltext

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  295. LondonBob says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    The Germans hardly used their battleships as they were too costly, and too easy to sink. They were both duly sunk due to aircraft attacks, the Bismarck being finished off by RN ships.

    • Replies: @LondonBob
  296. LondonBob says:
    @LondonBob

    Bismarck was disabled in an attack by the obsolete Fairey Swordfish!

  297. @utu

    Serious safety issue like blood clots may require larger samples to be detected and quantified.

    Though it can be established that it’s far safer than the virus itself. Since in the absence of a vaccine the probability of contracting the virus goes up to 1, even a 50% reduction in the chance of a serious illness makes it well worth to take any of the vaccines.

    • Replies: @utu
  298. utu says:
    @reiner Tor

    You are right on that though not necessarily for very young population but you have no data to claim as you did that Sputnik V is safer than AstraZeneca.

    • Replies: @Kazan
    , @reiner Tor
  299. Kazan says:
    @utu

    twitter.com/sputnikvaccine/status/1386306777851994124

    You have picked the worst possible time to make your comment, hideously wrong

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    , @utu
  300. @utu

    I do have data, though I take your point that the data is not yet fully conclusive.

    In Hungary some very bad quality data were released by the government (no age or health conditions of those vaccinated by the different vaccines, how long time has passed, how the epidemic was going at the time or afterwards etc.), but the data, bad quality as it is, seems to be consistent with Sputnik being safer.

    In any event, we do have some data that the AstraZeneca vaccine might cause blood clots, while no such data has emerged about the Sputnik vaccine, despite it having been given to tens of millions of people, the majority of whom were outside Russia.

    But point taken, the data is not nearly conclusive.

    • Thanks: utu
    • Replies: @joniel
  301. @Kazan

    The issue is that the Sputnik was given to younger people with no pre-existing conditions. It was also given later, so less time for side effects or infections to happen. So the data is not a strong evidence of anything.

    However, there has been a very strong campaign against it by both the Hungarian opposition and the Atlanticist/leftist media and press, where it was implied that the Sputnik vaccine was unsafe. The data clearly means it’s not super dangerous and also at least somewhat effective, so the campaign against it was misguided or worse.

    • Replies: @Kazan
  302. utu says:
    @Kazan

    The data look bogus. This is heavy handed Soviet Sputnik promo. Show us a Hungarian document. I will trust Hungarians more though the issue of vaccines is insanely political there. The five vaccines that were administered were differently spread over time and thus the unvaccinated control that must be used to determine the effectiveness is different for each vaccine. The numbers of 95, 177 or 555 per 100,000 are meaningless if we have no numbers of unvaccinated people getting infected in proper periods, which are different, for each vaccine.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  303. @utu

    This was released by the Hungarian government, but the issues are what I wrote above, different age and medical histories of those vaccinated, and the Sputnik vaccinations started more recently, leading to totally incomparable datasets.

    Please note that the Hungarian government does have a political incentive to boost the Sputnik and Sinopharm vaccines, as their use was heavily criticized both by the opposition and the leftist media and by the EU. Though I have to say those criticisms were clearly wrong, this data isn’t proper proof. But I’m fairly certain that the Chinese and Russian vaccines are not much worse and especially Sputnik is possibly the same or better than the western vaccines.

  304. utu says:

    “This was released by the Hungarian government” – and TASS right away picked it up

    TASS Russian News Agency (25 April, 2021)
    https://tass.com/society/1282847
    Russia’s Sputnik V recognized as safest and most efficient Covid vaccine in Hungary

    Thus, according to the Hungarian data, Sputnik V has up to 32 fewer fatalities and six times lower infection rate than the Pfizer vaccine

    Making such claims is totally unwarranted. You need proper control groups for each vaccine that have the same age distribution profiles and and equivalent time frames. This should not be too difficult to do but apparently somebody snatched the half-cooked raw data so Russia could blow its own trumpet.

  305. @Vishnugupta

    Russian joke:
    I don’t have fever or headache, I have no respiratory symptoms, my sense of smell is very keen. Must be asymptomatic covid.

    • LOL: AltanBakshi
  306. @Levtraro

    Another Russian joke.
    An Arab sheikh needs blood transfusion. His blood type is so rare that only one person in the country, a Jew, has compatible blood. The Jew agrees to donate his blood. Grateful sheikh gave him a nice home and an expensive car. Some time later the sheikh needs another transfusion. The Jew readily donates his blood, and grateful sheikh gives him a box of chocolates. The Jew asks: the first time you gave me a house and a car, and now only a box of chocolates. Why? The sheikh answers: back then I had no Jewish blood in me.

    • LOL: Levtraro
  307. @AltanBakshi

    all men can be reformed through hard labour.

    Nope. Homosexuality is a severe mental disorder, like schizophrenia. Today mental disorders are incurable. The best psychiatrists can do is minimize the symptoms.

    • Agree: Jazman
    • Troll: Mulga Mumblebrain
    • Replies: @Jazman
    , @Mulga Mumblebrain
  308. Kazan says:
    @reiner Tor

    Moderna, Chinese vaccine and maybe even AZ are in exact same position in Hungary compared to SputnikV, but results from Russian vaccine are significantly better.

    As I understand, your argument can only be valid for Pfizer v Sputnik vaccine

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  309. Kazan says:
    @utu

    Good selection!

    Harris is like he’s hiding something. Duvall is very placid, even boring – perfect to play Putin

  310. Mikhail says: • Website
    @Kazan

    The main bad guy in the film, Jewish villain, established one of the most famous acting schools in Hollywood – and he was tutored by 1 of the Russian greats, Stanislavski.

    I see:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lee_Strasberg

  311. Jazman says:
    @AnonFromTN

    Today US professional expert about chemical weapons blocked me

    He said majority of people survive Novichok without problems then I remind him of two cases banker Ivan Kivelidi and Soviet scientist Andrey Zheleznyakov who survived after receiving antidote but he had huge health issues something we do not see in case of mr Analny . Then army of his idiotic followers called me Russian bot lol
    He is just professional liar

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  312. @Jazman

    Welcome to freedom of speech, concentration camp-style. It is becoming the norm in the West. Hitler and Stalin would approve wholeheartedly.

    • Agree: Jazman
  313. @AnonfromTN

    Well that makes sense. But did all the engineers head to the west?
    I knew what happened in Russia during Yeltsin – but honestly knew nothing about what happened with Ukraine. The only top level company that I can think of that they have is Motor Sich. It seems like everything else was just sold off…. Correct? As you note maybe that’s what the EU hoped for. It just boggles my mind all that ship and aircraft building capacity and design expertise just pretty much fled. That is a sad state of affairs. Are they all working for EU companies now?

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  314. @Vishnugupta

    Right… So why on earth did they choose to sabotage themselves?? To be honest – prior to the coup engineered a few years ago I took no real note of the situation. I just knew they had “fire sales” on everything. But I always had assumed they would maintain closeness to Russia and some of the “stans” for the economic reasons you listed. I dont get their psychology… Did they think they would just rapidly join those industries in other EU countries and play the same role they did in the Soviet Union?? I am perplexed as to what the leaders were thinking. (At least Serbians realize they are never really accepted as equals by Western Europe.) Do they really think they would be anything other than a stick to poke Russia with?

    • Agree: AltanBakshi
    • Replies: @Vishnugupta
  315. @Showmethereal

    ‘Did they think they would just rapidly join those industries in other EU countries and play the same role they did in the Soviet Union??’

    Yes I believe that was what they were aiming for and they were strung along by the west for good measure.

    They had a superb product in the An 70 transport plane and they were hoping that along with their heavy An 124 transports would be the beginning of industrial integration with the EU as the EU had no competing product.

    Eventually as expected the EU decided to develop its own A400 transport aircraft.

    They had more success with the Zenit sea launch concept in which they roped in Boeing and launched several satellites.

    But the sort of privileged industrial partnership they inherited from Russia was an accident of history and no industrial power let’s another country do such critical work.

    Whether Ukrainians were as stupid as they prima facie appear or they thought that Russia will replace them anyway so may as well try to get adopted by the west and carve out a niche role in the western aerospace and defence ecosystem like Israel one can only speculate.

    But as things are going I predict the Ukrainian aerospace and defence industry will wither and die like the South African arms industry more or less has.

    • Thanks: showmethereal
    • Replies: @The Wild Geese Howard
  316. @Showmethereal

    But did all the engineers head to the west?

    To the best of my knowledge, some qualified workers and engineers fled to Russia, some to the EU, and some to the US. BTW, Motor Sich was also “privatized”, bought by Chinese investors despite loud angry barks from the US masters, and then their share (worth ~$3.5 billion) was stolen from them by Ukrainian state. Chinese investors are now suing Ukraine.

    Nikolaev shipbuilding plant is now essentially defunct. It has a fitting monument: huge battleship “Ukraine” that was started in the USSR more than 30 years ago. It never got finished, and now the plan is to cut that useless hulk for scrap metal. As Russian commenters gleefully joke, the fate of the ship is determined by its name.

    Soviet airplane building plant “Antonov” is now also moribund, did not build a single airplane for many years. Russia used to buy helicopter and ship engines from Ukraine, but after 2014 developed its own capacity, so even if Ukraine comes back to its senses, Russian market does not need these products any more. In the USSR Ukraine used to produce cheap passenger cars “Zaporozhets” (in Zaporozhie, as the name implies) and passenger buses in Lvov. Both production lines are dead now. Soviet Malyshev tank-building plant in Kharkov cannot build any tanks now, although it can still repair and upgrade existing tanks. This litany can be continued, but you get the picture.

    • Thanks: showmethereal
  317. joniel says:
    @reiner Tor

    We can’t say that the adenovirus vector is the culprit yet. Vaccines have so many variable components, and only a few particles of the active ingredient in each dose. AZ and J&J are both Western companies, and they may have adopted the same production procedures.

  318. @reiner Tor

    Well I certainly would agree we should hope this hypothetical war never happens. It is really in Washington and Taipei’s court. They keep playing the game of going up to the red line without crossing it… Kind of like what we see in Ukraine right now.

    As to the chip issue though. Here is the thing – military- space – supercomputers dont use those small 7 and 5nm chips. It is mainly for laptops and mobile phones because they same a lot of energy. Nothing critical needs them though. For instance – China hasnt stopped the massive 5G roll out. Huawei was banned from getting its 7nm made at TSMC – but since Huawei has mastered chip designed they just used some old chips – reconfigured them and changed the software codes. The 5G base stations still work just fine – but they do use more power than the 7nm ones they initially used. And again it is expected the 7nm supply chain blockade will be completely smashed using the DUV method by the end of 2022. So even the 5G rollout would continue while the US and Japan would still be barely getting started in serious infrastructure.

    But yeah as you said a war wouldnt last so long and if it did then the world would be smashed and none of us would even care about semiconductor nanometers. So yeah lets hope it doesnt happen.

  319. @AltanBakshi

    In all seriousness that forcing through the legislature allowing gay marriage in Taiwan was only to use “wokeness” as solidarity with the Hollywood crowd. They new they would all start to support a lesbian “president” and “the first place in Asia to allow gay marriage”. Makes me wonder if some foreign Soviet bloc nations might try the same…??

    The people voted in a referendum AGAINST having gay marriage taught in schools and then the DPP legislature forced the actual thing through. Politics are disgusting.

    • Agree: EldnahYm, AnonFromTN
    • Replies: @AP
  320. @Kazan

    The Sputnik and Sinopharm vaccines were not given to people with any chronic conditions. Also the other vaccines were started way earlier (Pfizer 4 months ago, Sputnik 2.5 months ago), so the patients had more time to get ill or die after the vaccine. (Remember that some of the deaths are natural deaths, as the Pfizer vaccines were given to the inhabitants of nursing homes etc. who would be dying in droves regardless of the vaccine or the pandemic.)

    My position is that the Russian vaccine is good, but so are the other vaccines. Only Sinopharm seems significantly worse than the rest, and even that is much preferable to the virus itself.

  321. AP says:
    @Showmethereal

    Interesting. I would not want Taiwan occupied by China because it would be a shame for a place and people untouched by evil Communism to be placed under Communist rule. There are still plenty of decent people in Taiwan who don’t deserve that.

  322. @Vishnugupta

    …no industrial power let’s another country do such critical work.

    The United States says hello!

  323. @AP

    Well according to the DPP who currently runs the island there are communists behind every tree and keyboard so they arrest and censor and take away licenses. So what exactly is different??? The cold war antics are over. Almost 2 million Taiwan people now live on the mainland. Why? So called “communist” side of the Taiwan Strait pays better and now has better infrastructure. Inconvenient fact.
    And it was the DPP party who pushed through the gay marriage that are the ones who are against China (the KMT party is for One China and against gay marriage). So I don’t know how you judge who is “decent” and who is not. Political labels are a folly

  324. utu says:

    Fifty-two passengers on one flight from Delhi to Hong Kong test positive for coronavirus after landing – despite ALL presenting a negative test while boarding

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9512239/Fifty-two-passengers-one-flight-Delhi-Hong-Kong-test-positive-Covid-19-landing.html

    • Replies: @Mulga Mumblebrain
  325. AnonZero says:
    @reiner Tor

    On somewhat of a related tangent to what you wrote:

    In a scenario of a European war launched by the West/NATO (all of NATO, led by the United States, and with the UK, Canada and the EU fully committed), there is a possibility, sans nukes, that Russia MIGHT start to lose.

    Should that happen, should Russia really start to lose territory and its national viability come into question, it is EXTREMELY likely that China would feel compelled to come in on Russia’s side, especially if Russia did not instigate the war.

    China does not want to see yet more American and/or Anglo-French/European aggression go unchecked. Libya in 2011 was the absolute last straw for them, when they had to do an emergency evacuation of tens of thousands of Chinese nationals as the bombs were falling, and as the country was being turned to hell by NATO bombing.

    For various reasons, the fall of the Russian nation-state to outside assault would be unacceptable to the Chinese. In the same way, the fall of the Chinese nation-state would be intolerable to the Russians.

    • Agree: AnonFromTN
    • Replies: @Showmethereal
    , @Xi-jinping
  326. @AP

    China no longer practices godless Maoism but pragmatic social nationalism. Far from the libertarian ideal, sure, but Chinese culture isn’t the hyper-individualized American one that supports all-for-himself ethics. (I can still find parallels between Taoism and classical liberal ideas, tho Taoism from a more holistically collectivist viewpoint.).

    It still needs at minimum ideological facelift to appear more palatable to East Asian peers who are still caught up in American anti-Chinese propaganda, and better still, a genuine cultural renaissance, the seeds ironically are preserved in Taiwan, HK and part of the Chinese diaspora, before being overran by Americanizing wokeness and separatist propaganda.

    • Agree: Showmethereal
  327. @utu

    Indian airlines are like Indian buses. I flew from Singapore to Mumbai once, on Air India, and there were more passengers than seats, and their baggage blocked the aisles.

  328. @AnonFromTN

    Homosexuality is just a variant of sexuality, seen in the animal kingdom, too. Like bisexuality, asexuality and voyeurism. Homophobia is the severe mental disorder.

    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
  329. @AnonZero

    Yes you bring up very good points and wgen you listen to both Russian and Chinese FM’s they both seem to convey such a thought. They have stated they are actively cooperating to prevent there being one global hegemon but support a multi polar world. Personally I dont think either of them would jump in if it was a one on one fight between one of them and the US. But if the other got ganged up on they know they would be tried next and might step in. That would be a calamity because that is WW3. Weapons are too sophisticated and can reach too far for anyone to entertain such.

  330. @Mulga Mumblebrain

    I understand that as a proud homosexual you have a vested interest in combatting homophobia, but that’s no reason to engage in the naturalism fallacy. In the animal kingdom we also see rape, murder, infanticide, and coprophagy.

    And this may come as a surprise to a noble homosexual such as yourself, but exclusive homosexuality is not found in the animal kingdom nor among human hunter-gatherers.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
    , @Mikel
  331. @Thorfinnsson

    exclusive homosexuality is not found in the animal kingdom nor among human hunter-gatherers.

    For a simple biological reason: homosexual sex does not produce children. So, natural selection eliminates this maladaptive trait. I know that you can make caged mouse males show sexual attraction to other males: when the cage is overcrowded with no food and water. The same severe stress conditions cause mouse-on-mouse cannibalism and other mental disturbances that virtually never appear under normal circumstances.

    Politically incorrect Russian joke on the subject:
    A married couple unsuccessfully tried to conceive a child for a long time. They’ve heard that there is an Indian guru who helped many couples having this issue. They came to the guru and described their problem. The guru looked at them and said: are you boys mad?!

    • Replies: @DNS
  332. Mikel says:
    @Thorfinnsson

    In the animal kingdom we also see rape, murder, infanticide, and coprophagy.

    For many years I have lived surrounded by pets and farm animals and definitely they would all be serving long prison sentences or worse if held to civilized human behavior standards. But, to be h0nest, I have never seen any of them engage in rape (or perhaps I should say what used to be called rape). I have no idea why but when females are not ready, animal males finally give up, as per my observation.

  333. @Mikel

    We need a biorealist ethics that is adapted for the long-term survival of the human species.

    • Agree: Bashibuzuk
    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  334. @Mikel

    Male bachelor dolphins form “gangs” and siphon away females. Wouldn’t be surprised if it happens in other animals. But yeah for the most part (not all) animals only engage in intercourse tp reproduce. So if the female is not in heat it makes no sense. They are different than us.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  335. @Showmethereal

    They are different than us.

    If by “us” you mean all apes, your statement is correct. All ape females have monthly cycles (except when they lactate) and engage in sex at any point within those cycles. In contrast to most large mammals, where females are in heat only during a certain period every year, and allow sex only when they are in heat. Small rodents (mice, rats) are like apes, though, but breed a lot faster.

  336. @Yellowface Anon

    And the long term survival of the biosphere. It is hardvto balance, but balance we must.

  337. @Mikel

    You’ve had horses in a stud farm?

    • Replies: @Mikel
  338. Mikel says:
    @Daniel Chieh

    No, just a mare. But I’ve looked it up on Google and it looks like I was wrong to extrapolate from my limited sample. Some animals do practice rape, as others have pointed out.

  339. @AP

    Again you are acting like an embarrassment to this site.

    Communism is only a net benefit to the world – Communist Vietnam is poised to be the next South Korea, Communist China is poised to be the second economy in the world and Communist Russia was the second economy in the world whos military might rivalled if not surpassed that of the US (and the US had 150 years head start).

    Also, Communism prevents the nation from becoming Pozzed.

    You keep embarassing yourself with nonsensical posts like in the other thread.

  340. @AnonZero

    It’s not a question of if Russia MIGHT starts to lose but when.

    Russian women no longer give birth to new soldiers and men who will serve the Motherland. Instead many Russian women have adopted a rather mercantile view of things and have tried to westernize and are no longer known for loyalty.

    Next, Russian men (just like women) have been slowly absorbing western POZ and will not be able to fight all out total war as in the past.

    Russia as a whole will not be able to fight a total war as in the past for a multitude of reasons:
    1. It’s industrial might is very weak currently (it has a smaller economy than texas AND Italy).

    2. It’s lack of industry is not made up for by manpower (as in Tsarist times)

    3. It has a small army

    4. The population will not (and does not) take kindly to the sacrifices – and will be more likely to emigrate to greener pastures (as they do now). Russians are the only group of people that I have observed that have a hatred for their own country. There are far fewer patriots.

    5. There will be no sudden national rejuvenation in the case of war (as was seen during WW2 where there was the emergence of geniuses like Antonov, Korolev, Kapitsa and others) as Russia’s schooling and educational system has significantly declined and it does not have the institutions for promoting these talents to make ground breaking new technologies.

    6. It is capitalist. It will be much harder to force industries and business to produce for the War effort. In fact, in Russia capitalist industries seem to be less efficient than government run ones (agriculture notwithstanding).

    • Agree: Iuk
    • Thanks: AltanBakshi
    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
    , @AltanBakshi
  341. @Xi-jinping

    You described Russia as the Empire would like it to be. Seething rage of the imperial elites clearly shows that your picture is faulty.

    • Replies: @Xi-jinping
  342. @Xi-jinping

    I sympathize with you, it’s a shame that Russians lost the military might of their army, but USSR has fallen, and those causes and conditions that made it possible, have ceased to be, therefore we must do with what we have, you can’t bring someone who is dead back to life. So only way forward is the Eurasian political and economical integration. What we need is patience, we must bide our time, before or later the cultural crisis in America will boil and explode. Then it’s time to strike, to take back the western frontier, and expel those who have no love for their rightful Motherland.

    But yes it is revolting and painful to think how Russia lost it’s ability to fight total war, after all Russian and Chinese militarism has almost always been peaceful and defensive in it’s nature, unlike the spirit of sick Jingoism and Interventionism present in liberal Anglo societies.

    • Replies: @Xi-jinping
  343. DNS says:
    @AnonFromTN

    There must have been considerable pressure on homosexuals in the past to marry a woman and have children, even if they decided to live a different life by night.

    If homosexuality is inherited, one would expect these genes to become more sparse in the population as the stigma against homosexual couples and childlessness ebbs away.

  344. @AnonFromTN

    I describe the picture as it is. In order for Russia to succeed (which I want it to as a revenge for what America did to it by bringing down the USSR) it must be honest about its current abilities and faults.

    The Empire needs an enemy and Russia has always been the enemy of the West (yes, even during Tsarist times) since it emerged in the Great Northern War as a big player.

    The reason the Empire seethes is that Russia still exists (with its territory relatively intact) and has not been broken up into pieces as it desires.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  345. @AltanBakshi

    The only way forward is for Russia to turn its back on Europe forever. Kind of like how Peter I abandoned Russian traditionality by ‘hacking a window to Europe’, so too must Russia now abandon Europe and ‘hack a window to the East’.

    The path forward for Russia can only be through greater economic and political integration with the East (China and asia as a whole).

    This should extend so far as for Russia to start propagandizing itself as a Asian nation rather than a European one.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  346. @Xi-jinping

    Russia has always been the enemy of the West (yes, even during Tsarist times)

    A pretty stupid idea. Russia was part of the system of European great powers after Peter the Great and then the Concert of Europe in the 19th century century. There was probably no European power to which it was not allied to at some point, just as there were no powers against which it didn’t wage war. The pattern until Napoleon was that the European powers usually ganged up on France, whereas in the first half of the 20th century they allied against Germany. After 1945 we see the major European powers in NATO against the USSR/Russia.

    The patterns were also more tendencies than hard rules, like in the Seven Year War the great powers fought against the alliance of Prussia and Britain. Until 1945, Russia never found it difficult to find major European allies: Britain (and often Austria and sometimes Prussia) during the Napoleonic Wars, Prussia/Germany (and often Austria) until the 1890s, France and then Britain after that.

    This idea that the whole of Europe regularly fought against Russia is just wrong.

    • Agree: sudden death
    • Replies: @Xi-jinping
  347. @Xi-jinping

    This should extend so far as for Russia to start propagandizing itself as a Asian nation rather than a European one.

    I think it’s not wise to pretend you are something which you aren’t. Russia is a European country with some Asian characteristics. It’s closer to Germany than to China, but it’s different from both.

    • Agree: Bashibuzuk, Aedib
    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
  348. @reiner Tor

    Well everything is conditional and transitory, you are correct for now, but Russia of the 50s was in many ways closer to Mao’s China than West Germany.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  349. @reiner Tor

    Russia was part of the system of European great powers after Peter the Great and then the Concert of Europe in the 19th century century.

    Disagree. The reason Peter the Great was trying to ‘cut a window into Europe’ was because even after his victories against the Swedes, Russia was still not viewed on par with the rest of Europe. In fact, Russia was never viewed as ‘European’ but rather that large country on the periphery that could not be ignored and that the Europeans had to deal with out of a lack of choice.

    not allied to at some point,

    Those alliances ultimately meant nothing – again as Russia was dealth with because it could not be ignored, rather than because it was European.

    That’s like saying Persia was European because it traded with the Byzantines at some point.

    Until 1945, Russia never found it difficult to find major European allies

    And yet throughout this period, there was extensive anti-Russian propaganda spread throughout Europe. In the Great Houses of Europe, Russia had negative connotations. It was not respected and derided if the Euros could get away with it. Look at how everyone from the Anglos, to the Germans viewed Russia – as ‘mongolian hordes’ that lacked true European civilization.

    • Agree: Iuk
    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  350. Iuk says:
    @Philip Owen

    In the 17th C, newly formed Great Britain put the Romanovs on the throne

    Can you please explain what you mean by this?

  351. @AltanBakshi

    I am correct over the long term.

    • Agree: AltanBakshi
  352. @Xi-jinping

    The reason Peter the Great was trying to ‘cut a window into Europe’ was because even after his victories against the Swedes, Russia was still not viewed on par with the rest of Europe.

    The reason was that Russia was less developed and thus not as strong militarily (on a per capita basis) as the other European countries. Also he started westernization long before his military victories over the Swedes. In fact, his modernization drive was likely the reason for his victory in that war.

    Those alliances ultimately meant nothing

    Well those alliances meant that contrary to the claims of Beckow and AnonFromTN and other Sovok or Russian nationalist commenters, Russia never had to deal with a coalition of all the major European countries, and could count on at least one major European ally. For example Britain in the Napoleonic wars, also the one campaign where Napoleon managed to force the lesser continental powers to fight against Russia, in 1812, the Russian victory meant that almost all of Napoleon’s “allies” immediately deserted him, which shows which of the two sides they hated more. The Habsburg emperor turned against Napoleon despite his own daughter being married to him. While Russia could win against the French-German forces of Napoleon in Russia for logistical reasons, logistics would not have favored them in Europe, so without Prussia and Austria Russia would not have been able to push into Central Europe.

    That’s like saying Persia was European because it traded with the Byzantines at some point.

    No. A universally hated country usually found it difficult to find allies, for example the Ottomans often fought their wars without allies. Even when they were saved (like in 1878), it only reduced their territorial losses. Trade is something else entirely, as that was done not by the rulers but by the merchants.

    throughout this period, there was extensive anti-Russian propaganda spread throughout Europe

    By that metric you would think that China was considered a European country, as there was extensive pro-Chinese propaganda throughout the 18th century, until the combination of the Industrial Revolution and the Chinese military defeat in the Opium Wars revealed how weak and backwards China was.

    By the way there was also extensive anti-German propaganda from the 1890s until 1945 (and to an extent later), so then they were not accepted either. 1914-17 and then after the 1920s and especially 1941-45 (when it mattered the most) it was also coupled with a pro-Russian (pro-Soviet) propaganda.

    In the Great Houses of Europe, Russia had negative connotations.

    Yet they had no issues marrying off their daughters to the Russian imperial house. The German and British monarchs were both cousins of the Russian Tsar in 1914. And it was not the Russian Tsar who was left without major allies in that war. Though to be frank, he was left out in the cold after he was toppled, and there were plans to prosecute the German Kaiser after he was toppled, so being related to the King of England meant nothing.

    Look at how everyone from the Anglos, to the Germans viewed Russia – as ‘mongolian hordes’ that lacked true European civilization.

    Russia had a different religion (Orthodoxy and then communism) and was way more backwards than most of Europe at the time. Hungary was viewed similarly for most of the period. Turkey had an even worse press throughout the period, and it’s not like Germany was well liked after 1871 – starting in its war enemy France it slowly got a reputation of being some horrible militaristic power, when in fact it was certainly not any more militaristic than other major powers.

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