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Politics (formerly Election 2012)

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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Brekkie » Tue Apr 29, 2014 10:25 pm

Koatanga wrote:Fortunately for Romania, Putin is likely smart enough to realize it's not the materiel deployed on the first day of a conflict that matters, but the materiel that can be brought to bear over the term of the conflict. That's why Kuwait is not a province of Iraq.


This.
Any territory seized will simply be reclaimed in short order. We're talking about Russia trying to annex countries here. That implies a desire not just to take the territory, but to HOLD it, which is what Russia is manifestly incapable of doing against a NATO force.

It's easy to take ground. It's holding it that is the hard part. The Russians know this. Ask Napoleon or Hitler.

Large concentrations of defensive forces on the border simply opens you up to a preemptive strike.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Io.Draco » Wed Apr 30, 2014 6:52 am

Fortunately for Romania, Putin is likely smart enough to realize it's not the materiel deployed on the first day of a conflict that matters, but the materiel that can be brought to bear over the term of the conflict. That's why Kuwait is not a province of Iraq.


Don't compare the Russian military to Iraq, it would be a bloodbath on both sides if they engaged in a conflict that lasted for over half a year like that. Russia has a great deal of highly advanced air defenses, artillery and tanks. NATO has been relying on it's air force for decades now to win conflicts, what happens when that air force is neutralized in large part thanks to S-300s and S-400s?

It would take many weeks to plan an offensive to retake back land Putin would take, during which time a peace deal would likely be reached.

This.
Any territory seized will simply be reclaimed in short order. We're talking about Russia trying to annex countries here. That implies a desire not just to take the territory, but to HOLD it, which is what Russia is manifestly incapable of doing against a NATO force


Organizing a sizable NATO force strong enough to beat back Russia would take time. Putin I imagine would not desire to hold Romania, but he might take Moldova and hold it.

To me a war would only happen, and even then it's improbable, if Putin took over all of Ukraine or just the East/South and then NATO and the EU slapped sector sanctions on Russia. Then Putin would invade, seize the Baltic states in a matter of days, drive deep in Poland, Romania, Hungary and then begin negotiations while his forces dig in. While NATO might have a decent shot to push Putin back in the south taking back the Baltic States would prove a lot more challenging: Kaliningrad stands as a fortress that would be difficult to overcome and Russia would have a strong naval advantage there with the Northern Fleet moving to support the Baltic Sea Fleet.

During the negotiations Putin would give NATO back the Baltic States in exchange for keeping Ukraine and removing sanctions.

Large concentrations of defensive forces on the border simply opens you up to a preemptive strike.


They also deter the enemy from striking because they would face heavy resistance, preventing the enemy for taking territory and digging in. This is why the countries close to Russia are demanding military forces and they are getting it, small forces so far but hopefully more sizable ones as well.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Fivelives » Wed Apr 30, 2014 8:45 am

Io Draco wrote:It would take many weeks to plan an offensive to retake back land Putin would take, during which time a peace deal would likely be reached.


There's the linchpin of your argument right there. And it's wrong. The plans you think would take weeks or months have already been made and are in place. The DOD employs any number of think tanks that have the sole purpose of designing "what if" scenarios for the military to follow.

"What if Russia ... " is one of the most popular, I'd imagine. The instant Putin sent Russian troops into Crimea, those plans were pulled out, dusted off, and are in the process of being updated for the situation as it stands. If Putin were to initiate aggression toward another country, he would be met with almost immediate delaying force from nearby NATO nations, and then overwhelming response within the week that would force him out faster than he got in.

See, when I was in the Army I was part of what's known as a HIRC mission (Heavy Immediate Response Capability task force). It's essentially a good-sized chunk of equipment and personnel who are tasked with being able to go anywhere in the world within 72 hours of getting the call. Each individual task force is slightly different, because it's made up of what's on hand in any given area. In my case, it was some tanks, some apache helicopter gunships, some cobra helicopter gunships, a bunch of artillery (consisting mainly of M109 155mm "Paladin" mobile howitzer cannons with a couple of close support 80mm mortar teams) and the logistics necessary to arrange transport and supply for anything up to a 6 week engagement assuming worst case scenario and we had to operate on our own without support (although personally, I think that "6 week" thing sounds like a crock of shit. The first time the Army does something that makes sense or deploys a program that works as advertised, the entire system will collapse under its own weight).

That's what we had available when I was stationed in Southeastern Germany, and it's likely one of the elements that would be used to delay an invasion on Russia's part. I'm pretty intimately familiar with the capabilities of my unit and it would be one hell of a rock in Putin's shoe. Sure, it would individually have a pretty short lifespan, but mine wasn't the only task force in the general area. The "Heavy" in the acronym isn't just there for show.

The politics would come later.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Paxen » Wed Apr 30, 2014 9:35 am

The problem is that Russia is expertly using infowars to avoid outright acts of war. What will happen if the russian minorities in the baltic call for russian aid and Putin responds?
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Io.Draco » Wed Apr 30, 2014 10:50 am

"What if Russia ... " is one of the most popular, I'd imagine. The instant Putin sent Russian troops into Crimea, those plans were pulled out, dusted off, and are in the process of being updated for the situation as it stands. If Putin were to initiate aggression toward another country, he would be met with almost immediate delaying force from nearby NATO nations, and then overwhelming response within the week that would force him out faster than he got in.


Of course the are military planners who deal with what if's, any military worth a damn has them but the issue is that they were caught with their pants down when it came to Crimea and what Putin did, and also they found the defenses on the eastern border to be unprepared for a potential Russian invasion. I doubt they had any plans concerning a potential Russian invasion in the Baltic States or Romania and while they are working on them right now, the problem is that it would still take months to implement a strong enough defense plan that would prevent Putin from steamrolling in those countries in days.

NATO generals have openly gone on record saying that the Russians could destroy the fighting capabilities of the Baltic States in hours, and any QTF force would have to be deployed from Germany/Poland, avoid Kaliningrad with it's strong air defenses and land in the Baltic States to fight a delaying action, that's assuming the planes carrying said troops would not be shot down by the Russian air defenses or by the Russian air force, which would have dominance from the very beginning over the skies in the Baltic States seeing as there no medium or long range air defenses in any of those countries.

The "Heavy" in the acronym isn't just there for show.


I am aware, but you are also aware that troops have been pulled out of Europe in recent years, months including some of that heavy equipment. There's no more american tanks on EU soil for example, they were pulled out last year.

What will happen if the russian minorities in the baltic call for russian aid and Putin responds?


The Baltics, with a combined total of 20.000 troops between them for all their service branches would fall easily.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Fivelives » Wed Apr 30, 2014 1:09 pm

Your information is out of date, Io.Draco - US tank batallions returned to Germany less than a year after they were pulled out.

We probably took a hands-off approach to Crimea being "invaded" by Russia because of two main reasons:
First, they didn't fire a shot.
Second, Crimea overwhelmingly voted to go back to Mother Russia during an unconstitutional military coup of the greater country (Ukraine)

That doesn't mean we couldn't still go and kick Putin right back out again if the need arises. In this case, it's not the right thing to do on any number of levels. Remember, the US Military is incredibly mobile. We can move anywhere in the world with sufficient strength to accomplish a (reasonable) mission in a matter of 2-3 days from getting the go order.

Russia's air force is, and has been for quite some time, laughable. Their fixed anti-air defenses are less so, but those would be a matter of a week or two (tops!) to disable via sabotage ops on the part of our special forces. Fixed defenses sound a lot better on paper than they actually are in reality. There are also any number of ways to move troops that doesn't involve flying them in - Europe and the Baltic States' railroad transportation systems are excellent too, and combat engineers are quite capable of repairing damage to them (or even laying brand new track) fairly rapidly.

Again, Russia might be able to take the Baltic. He probably can - shit, they would fall over in a stiff breeze. The problem Putin faces is that the Russian military is an absolute joke. It's a paper tiger, and actually holding what he is capable of taking is impossible. So he's going to settle for Crimea and sticking with the proven tactic of just showing a stronger Russian economy than his neighbors have.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Io.Draco » Wed Apr 30, 2014 1:26 pm

Your information is out of date, Io.Draco - US tank batallions returned to Germany less than a year after they were pulled out.

We probably took a hands-off approach to Crimea being "invaded" by Russia because of two main reasons:
First, they didn't fire a shot.
Second, Crimea overwhelmingly voted to go back to Mother Russia during an unconstitutional military coup of the greater country (Ukraine)


My mistake on the tanks. Although it's only one battalion and it's for training purposes.

Maybe the US military isn't as powerful as you would like to believe, also it had a lot more to do with the unwillingness of the public to get involved. If you can't get involved in Syria due to public pressure do you think you would get involved in Ukraine?

In a prolonged conflict with Russia...well you could win, but in a short term conflict lasting several days/weeks considering the forces available at the moment in Europe it wouldn't be so clear cut.

I would ask how many in the American public even know where the fuck Estonia is, let alone if they care for their country to send troops to defend it.

Russia's air force is, and has been for quite some time, laughable. Their fixed anti-air defenses are less so, but those would be a matter of a week or two (tops!) to disable via sabotage ops on the part of our special forces. Fixed defenses sound a lot better on paper than they actually are in reality.


Russian S-300 and S-400 missiles are very mobile, easy to move and set up. As for their air force, laughable in comparison to what exactly? F-22s and Eurofighter Typhoons? Perhaps, although they do have better missiles on their craft.

Compared to the hundreds of F-16s that make up the bulk of aircraft in Eastern and Central Europe, not so much. Those SU-27s, MIG-31s and upgraded MIG-29s would decimate the Polish, Turkish, Greek, Danish air forces any day.

There are also any number of ways to move troops that doesn't involve flying them in - Europe and the Baltic States' railroad transportation systems are excellent too, and combat engineers are quite capable of repairing damage to them (or even laying brand new track) fairly rapidly.


Except there is no direct link from Germany to the Baltic states, you would have to cross Kaliningrad. Good luck with that. Romanian railways are in terrible condition.

Again, Russia might be able to take the Baltic. He probably can - shit, they would fall over in a stiff breeze.


He would, then chunks of Poland and Romania would fall before reinforcements arrived in those countries to hold and then push back the Russians.

The problem Putin faces is that the Russian military is an absolute joke. It's a paper tiger, and actually holding what he is capable of taking is impossible. So he's going to settle for Crimea and sticking with the proven tactic of just showing a stronger Russian economy than his neighbors have


That's what they were saying before Crimea, then they woke up to the reality: That while much of the west has been spending less and less money on their armies Russia has poured in hundreds of billions in theirs.

Some media outlets claim that only the Spetsnaz are worth a damn based on what we saw in Crimea and that the rest of the army is trash. The problem with that logic is that the troops who took over Crimea were Russian marines.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Fivelives » Wed Apr 30, 2014 1:54 pm

Io.Draco wrote:My mistake on the tanks.

Or maybe the US military isn't as powerful as you would like to believe, also it had a lot more to do with the unwillingness of the public to get involved. If you can't get involved in Syria due to public pressure do you think you would get involved in Ukraine?


Syria was rather expertly spun by the media to fit the fact that we really didn't want to get involved there to begin with. It was a no-win situation, and everyone with any sense could see just that. We also don't have any treaties there. Yet somehow, we still managed to get what we wanted, which was the destruction of their chemical weapons.

As far as people knowing where Estonia is, you'd see the same exact thing as with Syria. People may not know where it is right now, but let it become a hot spot and everyone would become instant experts. Thank Wikipedia for that.

Russian S-300 and S-400 missiles are very mobile, easy to move and set up. As for their air force, laughable in comparison to what exactly? F-22s and Eurofighter Typhoons? Perhaps, although they do have better missiles on their craft.


And you think in an age where a satellite can count the hairs sticking out of your nose as you run a marathon in real time we wouldn't know exactly where they are? What exactly did you think I meant by "taking out their fixed defenses" anyway?

Compared to the hundreds of F-16s that make up the bulk of aircraft in Eastern and Central Europe, not so much. Those SU-27s, MIG-31s and upgraded MIG-29s would decimate the Polish, Turkish, Greek, Danish air forces any day.


I can't speak to the capabilities of allied forces as much as I can to our own. But we definitely have Russia beat in air power. The USAF, USN, and USMC all have their own air capability - and the F/A-18 Hornet alone is a better jet in every response than any MiG ever made. Keep in mind, too, that the F/A-18 Hornet isn't a dogfighter like the F-15 and F-16. Sure, they may have more MiGs than we have fighter jets, I'll grant that.

But you know what they call a numerical advantage over a superiorly equipped and trained force? Target saturation. Russian equipment maintenance and training is shit compared to the West. I've participated in a number of joint exercises with Russia as well as other countries, and can tell you that from firsthand experience.

Except there is no direct link from Germany to the Baltic states, you would have to cross Kaliningrad. Good luck with that. Romanian railways are in terrible condition.


And if you think that Kaliningrad would be anything but a speedbump you're mistaken. Remember, the amount of force that the US alone can throw to any point at nearly any time is staggering. That's not including other allied nations like, for instance, Germany and the UK.

That's what they were saying before Crimea, then they woke up to the reality: That while much of the west has been spending less and less money on their armies Russia has poured in hundreds of billions in theirs.


The US Defense budget is higher than the next 26 countries combined. Pretty sure we don't have to worry about Russia's "hundreds of billions" of defense budget compared to ours.

Some media outlets claim that only the Spetsnaz are worth a damn based on what we saw in Crimea and that the rest of the army is trash. The problem with that logic is that the troops who took over Crimea were Russian marines.


And those media outlets are, for a change, 100% correct. You say that there was a "takeover" of Crimea by Russian troops - I'd like to remind you that there wasn't a single shot fired in that takeover. Russia has manpower going for it, and it has weight of materiel. What it does not have, and never really has had, was quality. In any contest pitting quality against quantity, quality will win almost every single time.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Koatanga » Wed Apr 30, 2014 2:19 pm

I suspect there's some devaluation of US military might based on the lack of real success in Iraq and Afghanistan. I submit that in both of those cases the target was not clearly defined or even very clearly visible.

In Iraq the US removed the strongest of the factions in what amounted to a civil war, creating a power vacuum in what was already a hot area. It then had to hold ground until its puppet government established itself well enough to survive the attacks by the other factions. Most European nations saw what Bush was getting into and didn't want to touch it with a barge pole, so the US had little support.

In Afghanistan the US was not up against Afghanistan, but a non-governmental association playing hide-and-seek. A sledge hammer is not very effective against a fly, but that doesn't mean it doesn't have other scenarios in which it is very effective indeed.

When Russia moved into Crimea, the people there already wanted to join Russia, so going in to kick Russia out would have been against the will of the people - the US would be fighting "invaders" while also struggling against the very people they are there to liberate, who don't want to be liberated. That's a no-win situation.

If Russia were to attack Romania, there would be resistance from the population making it difficult for the Russian army to blend in and hide, and the US would have a clearly-defined mission against identifiable targets while being backed by the entirety of the European Union. There's simply no valid comparison between the scenarios.

Give the US a stand-up fight against any other nation on the planet, and the US can bring enough might to bear to win the conflict.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Brekkie » Wed Apr 30, 2014 2:40 pm

Io.Draco, you are utterly mistake about pretty much every assertion you have made. If you were a newly registered poster, I'd have even gone so far as to say it smelled like you were fishing to provoke the people refuting you to accidentally disclose sensitive US military capabilities.

At any rate, I don't really feel the need to write a point-by-point rebuttal. Fivelives seems to have that under control just fine.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Io.Draco » Wed Apr 30, 2014 5:35 pm

I'd have even gone so far as to say it smelled like you were fishing to provoke the people refuting you to accidentally disclose sensitive US military capabilities.


Now that's a load of bullshit honestly. There's plenty of information about the military capabilities of the US on the net, publicly available, and there are public discussion boards where people discuss stuff like this.

My argument is that people devalue the Russian military based on what we saw in 2008 in Georgia, but the Russians learned some very harsh lessons in that war that they've applied well.

Over the last few years I've watched as an European as how every single nation on the continent that's part of the EU has neglected their militarizes thinking they have no worry in the world while Russia and China ( who the hell do you think benefits the most from the Crimean crisis anyway? ) have poured vast amounts of money in theirs. I don't particularly care about the US or their military. I am very much pro-EU and in that sense I believe we should not rely on America saving our asses if someone invades us just because we had the arrogance to believe that no major world power would spark another World War.

And if you think that Kaliningrad would be anything but a speedbump you're mistaken. Remember, the amount of force that the US alone can throw to any point at nearly any time is staggering. That's not including other allied nations like, for instance, Germany and the UK.


I think if Russian generals have any brains they'll rush their armies in Lithuania, open a route to Kaliningrad and entrench much oftheir forces their while the rest mop up the Baltics. Putin has hundreds of T-90s ready and available to him for that job and he's also got over 1000 T-80s that were recently put in storage ( December last year ) but could easily be brought back in service.

And you think in an age where a satellite can count the hairs sticking out of your nose as you run a marathon in real time we wouldn't know exactly where they are? What exactly did you think I meant by "taking out their fixed defenses" anyway?


Satellites can be fooled and tricked, as was proven in the past. Besides we are not talking of a few dozen launchers here, but hundreds.

Target saturation. Russian equipment maintenance and training is shit compared to the West. I've participated in a number of joint exercises with Russia as well as other countries, and can tell you that from firsthand experience.


Fair enough, but even then you would find that establishing air dominance over the Baltics, Romania would be no easy feat even with your superior training and maintenance, assuming the last six years of reform in the Russian army where for nothing. As for allied nations in NATO: They are a hell lot worse then Russia when it comes to that since many governments in Europe have neglected their militaries. For crying out loud Britain doesn't even have ammunition for the guns of their Eurofighters, and that's a country with one of the best militaries in the EU.

The US Defense budget is higher than the next 26 countries combined. Pretty sure we don't have to worry about Russia's "hundreds of billions" of defense budget compared to ours.


Except that Russia doesn't have to spend billions on maintaining the hundreds of military bases that you own, or on the large standing army that you have. On top of the wages and prices overall are considerably lower in Russia.

And those media outlets are, for a change, 100% correct. You say that there was a "takeover" of Crimea by Russian troops - I'd like to remind you that there wasn't a single shot fired in that takeover.


That's how military analysts have referred to it, and it's a wrong assertion to say that no shots were fired: Casualties were non-existent but there was resistance from some Ukranian troops but Russia surrounded their bases and then stormed them.

Also the media refers to the Spetsnatz being the only quality troops as a result of Crimea with the thinking that the troops who took it over were Spetsnatz, not the Russian Black Sea Fleet Marines.

Give the US a stand-up fight against any other nation on the planet, and the US can bring enough might to bear to win the conflict.


In a long term conflict where you would be able to bring the full might of your available forces to bear then yes I would agree ( unless you are talking of conquering Russia or China, then I would wonder if you ever read Clausewitz ), but in a conflict that would at most last two or three weeks before a ceasefire: Think Georgian War, then no.

It's not a question of capability. I never argued that the US is overall less capable then Russia, but what I argued is that in the deployment of forces available on the NATO eastern border Russia could take sizable chunks of that territory before they were stopped given that it would take them for reinforcements to be deployed.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Fivelives » Wed Apr 30, 2014 9:50 pm

Io.Draco wrote:There's plenty of information about the military capabilities of the US on the net, publicly available, and there are public discussion boards where people discuss stuff like this.


Ever heard of an armchair quarterback? There's a huge difference between people discussing capabilities of shit on a message board and actually being in a fight. Also, they don't have all of the information.

My argument is that people devalue the Russian military based on what we saw in 2008 in Georgia, but the Russians learned some very harsh lessons in that war that they've applied well.


The Russians haven't learned anything except what we're seeing now. They suck at straight up fights. So if that's what you meant, then I agree.

Over the last few years I've watched as an European as how every single nation on the continent that's part of the EU has neglected their militarizes thinking they have no worry in the world while Russia and China ( who the hell do you think benefits the most from the Crimean crisis anyway? ) have poured vast amounts of money in theirs. I don't particularly care about the US or their military. I am very much pro-EU and in that sense I believe we should not rely on America saving our asses if someone invades us just because we had the arrogance to believe that no major world power would spark another World War.


(emphasis mine) The problem is that for good or ill, that's exactly what America does. We spend the billions (719 billion in 2013, actually) on defense so that the EU doesn't have to. As a European, you should be more worried about America's politics because it might prevent us from coming to your aid in a worst case scenario.

I think if Russian generals have any brains they'll rush their armies in Lithuania, open a route to Kaliningrad and entrench much oftheir forces their while the rest mop up the Baltics. Putin has hundreds of T-90s ready and available to him for that job and he's also got over 1000 T-80s that were recently put in storage ( December last year ) but could easily be brought back in service.


The T-90 doesn't stand up to anything. I can go point by point comparing every tank in the world in every conceivable type of terrain and situation. T-80s are even worse. Like I posted earlier - sure, they have a lot of materiel built up. But facing the Challenger II, Leopard II, M1 Abrams, and the veritable host of artillery shells, helicopters (which are a tank's worst enemy), and bombs that are specifically designed to wreck your day and the days of hundreds of your closest friends they simply do not stand up. Russian tanks do, and always have, exploded into flames when a crewmember sneezes (only a slight exaggeration here), are lightly armored, and their targeting and sighting systems simply don't hold up. They may carry a bigger gun, but the size of your gun doesn't matter if you can't hit what you're aiming at. Their autoloaders are prone to jamming, their ammunition storage is in the crew compartment with... anyway, I could go on and on, but it's beside the point.

This point bears repeating: in almost every possible scenario when it comes down to quantity vs quality, quality will win out. We call that "target saturation".

Satellites can be fooled and tricked, as was proven in the past. Besides we are not talking of a few dozen launchers here, but hundreds.


Sure, nothing's perfect. But you're defeating your own argument here - it's far more difficult to hide hundreds of something than it is to hide one or two of them. Plus, it's impossible to hide anything while moving it - to fool a satellite, you need to first know where and when it's looking (which Russia might be able to do - the KGB and later, FSB, are top tier intelligence agencies), and you have to transport it in a very short window of time. It takes time to camouflage something, time that Russia simply wouldn't have considering the situation.

Fair enough, but even then you would find that establishing air dominance over the Baltics, Romania would be no easy feat even with your superior training and maintenance, assuming the last six years of reform in the Russian army where for nothing. As for allied nations in NATO: They are a hell lot worse then Russia when it comes to that since many governments in Europe have neglected their militaries. For crying out loud Britain doesn't even have ammunition for the guns of their Eurofighters, and that's a country with one of the best militaries in the EU.


Britain would just have to say "hey, let's start manufacturing ammunition" and they would then have ammunition. Or they could borrow it from the US. And 6 years of reform in a military the size of Russia's? Russia's standing army (not counting reserves and paramilitary forces) is about a million strong. That's a lot of inertia to overcome - that many people don't improve overnight, and in military terms, 6 years is essentially overnight. There's still the quality of equipment issue, the training issue, troop morale, logistics and supply ... a lot more than you realize goes into determining how troops will perform on a battlefield. Russia fails in this aspect on every conceivable level.

Except that Russia doesn't have to spend billions on maintaining the hundreds of military bases that you own, or on the large standing army that you have. On top of the wages and prices overall are considerably lower in Russia.


Russia's standing army is about 750k strong. America's standing army is 1.5mil strong. The US maintains about 700-800 military bases worldwide. Russia maintains very few military bases abroad and more at home than we do. That actually works against them, because supply becomes a serious issue the further out you are from the nearest base. I don't really understand what your point is here. You're defeating your own arguments - essentially I read this as "Russia spends less, has less, and pays their troops less". Please clarify it for me and point out how exactly it's relevant?

That's how military analysts have referred to it, and it's a wrong assertion to say that no shots were fired: Casualties were non-existent but there was resistance from some Ukranian troops but Russia surrounded their bases and then stormed them.


Again, Russia didn't fire a single shot. It was inevitable - Crimea's Russian majority wanted to join Russia thanks to the bugfuck insanity going on in the capitol.

Also the media refers to the Spetsnatz being the only quality troops as a result of Crimea with the thinking that the troops who took it over were Spetsnatz, not the Russian Black Sea Fleet Marines.


You know how to get troops to not fire a single shot? Don't issue them ammunition. I'm pretty sure that's what happened here, because knowing the military, people fuck up. That's the one constant in every military in every country in the history of mankind. People fuck up.

In a long term conflict where you would be able to bring the full might of your available forces to bear then yes I would agree ( unless you are talking of conquering Russia or China, then I would wonder if you ever read Clausewitz ), but in a conflict that would at most last two or three weeks before a ceasefire: Think Georgian War, then no.


We can move overwhelming force to anywhere in the world in a matter of days. And I would hazard to say that we could take Russia. We wouldn't be able to hold Russia - not through a Russian winter and not coming off a war in a desert - but we could take it in the first place. China, not so much. China scares the living shit out of me, and should scare the living shit out of everyone else on the planet, too. There's a reason that all of the fights between the US and China have been conflicts by proxy (think Vietnam for example, and Korea). Near the end of World War II, Russia, riding high on the horse thanks to the inevitable tick in the W column, threatened to invade China. Here's how that conversation went down:

"Sure, you roll your 250,000 tanks across my border. I'll meet you there with 2 billion peasants armed with sticks and rocks. You will run out of ammunition before I run out of people for you to hit with it and what is left will be very angry. Soon you will have 250,000 smoking wrecks sitting a couple of inches across my border."

However, that isn't the case here. China might rattle some sabers, but it will be against Russia, not to help them.

It's not a question of capability. I never argued that the US is overall less capable then Russia, but what I argued is that in the deployment of forces available on the NATO eastern border Russia could take sizable chunks of that territory before they were stopped given that it would take them for reinforcements to be deployed.


And my rebuttal is that it doesn't matter what forces are immediately available. They are enough to delay Russia long enough to get NATO forces deployed in there. Remember, the US military can be anywhere in the world in overwhelming force within 48-72 hours. You're pitting the Russian military against, essentially, the US military - because let's be honest here, the US is the only NATO force that matters in a stand up fight instead of NATO's usual "peacekeeping" missions. There is no possible scenario where Russia wins, except in a winter war in Russia. Their forces aren't as mobile, they aren't nearly as well equipped, their training blows, their leadership blows harder, their equipment is falling apart, their supply lines would be far too long, their morale is iffy, and they'd be going up against a military that has been in constant conflict for the last decade and change. Russia doesn't have that many veteran troops left - in the US, almost all of our forces are blooded. That counts for a lot, too.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Io.Draco » Thu May 01, 2014 6:05 am

And my rebuttal is that it doesn't matter what forces are immediately available. They are enough to delay Russia long enough to get NATO forces deployed in there.


Well that's the gist of the argument isn't it? You say the US could mobilize significant forces against Russia in days to push them back while I disagree. Militarily you might have the capability, although I doubt it I am willing to concede the point but still in 48-72 hours you would still have large chunks of Romania and Poland taken over, but politically?

How far would the American leadership be willing to escalate in a conflict with Russia and how many military forces would they be willing to deploy against Russia? I would say enough to bring to Russia to the negotiating table but not enough to retake back the Baltic States. It's not about weakness, as some Republicans shout at Obama for displaying, but rather common sense. Then Putin would likely back off and negotiate.

The gain for Putin would be, besides forcing the west to accept him taking over Ukraine at the negotiating table in exchange for pulling back, a severe blow to NATO. I was reading an article containing an interview with a high level american diplomat how they are looking for assurance from all their EU allies that they will respect Chapter V if Russia attacks...they are not confident that EU members will.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Fridmarr » Thu May 01, 2014 7:02 am

Russia could annex all of Ukraine and America/NATO would likely do very little militarily to try to stop it, though to be perfectly clear, America does have the ability to stop it and push Russia back to pre-Crimea annexation borders.

Now, even without military intervention, America, EU, NATO, and most of the rest of the world would economically isolate Russia (and on the plus side, we would see the price of oil plummet) so I don't see what good it would do Russia to try to take over regions where the populace does not want them. Those areas would be unproductive for Russia and a perpetual money sink just to maintain, and that's before even dealing with the broader economic issues of the isolation.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Klaudandus » Thu May 01, 2014 11:06 am

Fridmarr wrote:Russia could annex all of Ukraine and America/NATO would likely do very little militarily to try to stop it, though to be perfectly clear, America does have the ability to stop it and push Russia back to pre-Crimea annexation borders.

Now, even without military intervention, America, EU, NATO, and most of the rest of the world would economically isolate Russia (and on the plus side, we would see the price of oil plummet) so I don't see what good it would do Russia to try to take over regions where the populace does not want them. Those areas would be unproductive for Russia and a perpetual money sink just to maintain, and that's before even dealing with the broader economic issues of the isolation.


I'd like to see this happen, just for lulz...
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