Colors of Blue and Gold


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Online Jon Banks

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Re: Colors of Blue and Gold
« Reply #104 on: January 15, 2023, 10:51:19 PM »
It is impossible for Ukraine to militarily defeat Russia.  Even with unlimited US military assistance.  They are never going to have the capability to invade Russia and drive on to Moscow which is what it would take to force a military end to the conflict.  The Nazis could not do it and Napoleon could not do it.  At best, they can fight a Viet Cong style guerilla war to bleed the Russians dry until the political will to continue the war in Moscow comes to an end.  The Russians are not like the US, though.  They are not subject to the same media scrutiny and public pressures to end wars.  If Putin wants to stick it out, it will continue.   That means years of war until Ukraine is a pile of rubble.  The US will get in deeper and deeper as we did in Vietnam.  Once political capital has been invested in a cause, it becomes increasingly difficult for the politicians to admit a mistake.  You can't sink billions or trillions into places like the Vietnam and Afghanistan promising victory only to say it was all a mistake predicated on a lot of lies.  So it will go on and on.  More money, deaths, destruction, US advisors (who are likely already on the ground).
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That's exactly what I fear most about this war.

I don't think it's probable that Ukraine alone can militarily defeat Russia. When it becomes clear that Ukraine won't win, do we accept that and move on? Or do we escalate our level of involvement to the point of risking WW3? I fear that some of our leaders (mainly Western Liberals) are crazy enough to start WW3 and risk nuclear war over Ukraine. As much as we may sympathize with the plight of Ukraine, it's not our fight. It's a regional war between two countries that have fought each other for centuries and have overlapping culture and histories. Making it 'our fight' could make the world far more unstable and risk nuclear war...

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Re: Colors of Blue and Gold
« Reply #104 on: January 15, 2023, 10:51:19 PM »


Online Jon Banks

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Re: Colors of Blue and Gold
« Reply #105 on: January 16, 2023, 03:32:34 PM »
FP Magazine: The Perpetually Irrational Ukraine Debate
Quote
Because war is uncertain and reliable information is sparse, no one knows how the war in Ukraine will play out. Nor can any of us be completely certain what the optimal course of action is. We all have our own theories, hunches, beliefs, and hopes, but nobody’s crystal ball is 100 percent reliable in the middle of a war.

You might think that this situation would encourage observers to approach the whole issue with a certain humility and give alternative perspectives a fair hearing even when they disagree with one’s own. Instead, debates about responsibility for the war and the proper course of action to follow have been unusually nasty and intolerant, even by modern standards of social media vituperation. I’ve been trying to figure out why this is the case.

What I find especially striking is how liberal interventionists, unrepentant neoconservatives, and a handful of progressives who are all-in for Ukraine seem to have no doubts whatsoever about the origins of the conflict or the proper course of action to follow today. For them, Russian President Vladimir Putin is solely and totally responsible for the war, and the only mistakes others may have made in the past was to be too nice to Russia and too willing to buy its oil and gas. The only outcome they are willing to entertain is a complete Ukrainian victory, ideally accompanied by regime change in Moscow, the imposition of reparations to finance Ukrainian reconstruction, and war crimes trials for Putin and his associates. Convinced that anything less than this happy result will reward aggression, undermine deterrence, and place the current world order in jeopardy, their mantra is: “Whatever it takes for as long as it takes.”

This same group has also been extraordinarily critical of those who believe responsibility for the war is not confined to Russia’s president and who think these war aims might be desirable in the abstract but are unlikely to be achieved at an acceptable cost and risk. If you have the temerity to suggest that NATO enlargement (and the policies related to it) helped pave the road to war, if you believe the most likely outcome is a negotiated settlement and that getting there sooner rather than later would be desirable, and if you favor supporting Ukraine but think this goal should be weighed against other interests, you’re almost certain to be denounced as a pro-Putin stooge, an appeaser, an isolationist, or worse. Case in point: When a handful of progressive congressional representatives released a rather tepid statement calling for greater reliance on diplomacy a few weeks ago, it was buried under a hailstorm of criticism and quickly disavowed by its own sponsors.

Wartime is precisely when one should think most dispassionately and carefully about one’s own interests and strategies. Unfortunately, keeping a cool head is especially hard to do when the bullets are flying, innocent people are suffering, and rallying public support takes priority. A narrowing of debate is typical of most wars—at least for a long time—with governments encouraging patriotic groupthink and marginalizing dissident views. And the war in Ukraine has been no exception thus far.

One reason public discourse is so heated is moral outrage, and I have a degree of sympathy for this position. What Russia is doing to Ukraine is horrific, and it’s easy to understand why people are angry, eager to support Kyiv any way they can, happy to condemn Russia’s leaders for their crimes, and willing to inflict some sort of punishment on the perpetrators. It’s emotionally gratifying to side with an underdog, especially when the other side is inflicting great harm on innocent people. Under the circumstances, I can also understand why some people are quick to see anyone with a different view as being insufficiently committed to a righteous cause and to conclude that they must somehow sympathize with the enemy. In the present political climate, if someone is not all-in for Ukraine, then they must be siding with Putin.

Moral outrage is not a policy, however, and anger at Putin and Russia does not tell us what approach is best for Ukraine or the world. It’s possible that the hawks are right and that giving Ukraine whatever it thinks it needs to achieve victory is the best course of action. But this approach is hardly guaranteed to succeed; it might just prolong the war to no good purpose, increase Ukrainian suffering, and eventually lead Russia to escalate or even use a nuclear weapon. None of us can be 100 percent certain that the policies we favor will turn out as we expect and hope.

Nor does outrage at Russia’s present conduct justify viewing those who warned that Western policy was making a future conflict more likely as being on Moscow’s side. To explain why something bad happened is not to justify or defend it, and calling for diplomacy (while highlighting the obstacles such an effort would face) does not entail lack of concern for Ukraine itself. Different people can be equally committed to helping Ukraine yet favor sharply differing ways to achieve that end...

https://foreignpolicy.com/2022/11/29/the-perpetually-irrational-ukraine-debate/

Online Richard Smith

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Re: Colors of Blue and Gold
« Reply #106 on: January 24, 2023, 07:14:52 PM »
The creeping escalation is ongoing.  How many weapons systems did he US initially refuse to send and then provided?  And when that was not enough, they sent more.  Now the US is going to send tanks.   What happens when that doesn't work?  We all know the answer to that.  Undoubtedly, there are CIA and US military advisors on the ground.  At some point they will begin openly requesting US military presence on the ground. 

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Re: Colors of Blue and Gold
« Reply #106 on: January 24, 2023, 07:14:52 PM »


Online Jon Banks

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Re: Colors of Blue and Gold
« Reply #107 on: January 25, 2023, 12:36:00 AM »
The creeping escalation is ongoing.  How many weapons systems did he US initially refuse to send and then provided?  And when that was not enough, they sent more.  Now the US is going to send tanks.   What happens when that doesn't work?  We all know the answer to that.  Undoubtedly, there are CIA and US military advisors on the ground. At some point they will begin openly requesting US military presence on the ground.

That's what I fear most. It reminds me of the mission-creep in the years leading up to the Vietnam war.

It remains improbable that Ukraine wins the war militarily in spite of all the military aid we're sending over there. The artillery-style/tank warfare favors Russia which has thousands of tanks and artillery pieces. Ukraine still has far less tanks than Russia even with the latest aid packages. And it will take weeks, if not months, for Ukrainians to learn how to competently use NATO weapons and integrate these weapons into their combined warfare effort. 

If months from now Ukraine is still losing territory and Russia is still making gains, does the US and our allies in Europe accept that and move on? Or do they push for NATO boots on the ground in order to level the playing field?

I really don't know if they're ready to accept that Ukraine may still lose the war in spite of our efforts.

Online Richard Smith

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Re: Colors of Blue and Gold
« Reply #108 on: January 25, 2023, 01:22:11 AM »
That's what I fear most. It reminds me of the mission-creep in the years leading up to the Vietnam war.

It remains improbable that Ukraine wins the war militarily in spite of all the military aid we're sending over there. The artillery-style/tank warfare favors Russia which has thousands of tanks and artillery pieces. Ukraine still has far less tanks than Russia even with the latest aid packages. And it will take weeks, if not months, for Ukrainians to learn how to competently use NATO weapons and integrate these weapons into their combined warfare effort. 

If months from now Ukraine is still losing territory and Russia is still making gains, does the US and our allies in Europe accept that and move on? Or do they push for NATO boots on the ground in order to level the playing field?

I really don't know if they're ready to accept that Ukraine may still lose the war in spite of our efforts.

Yes, what happens after all this money and political capital is invested in Ukraine and the Russians are still there?   At what point does the US and NATO feel they must intervene with ground forces to save Ukraine?  Just like Vietnam.  The politicians can't let this end in a Russian victory when Zelensky starts asking for ground forces.   An admission of failure.  It also takes years of training to operate these weapons systems and tanks in combat situations.  Does anyone really believe the US does not have advisors already in Ukraine operating much of this equipment?  They are just going to send billions in weapons systems to people who are not trained to use them?

Online Joe Elliott

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Re: Colors of Blue and Gold
« Reply #109 on: January 25, 2023, 05:26:22 PM »

Yes, what happens after all this money and political capital is invested in Ukraine and the Russians are still there?   At what point does the US and NATO feel they must intervene with ground forces to save Ukraine?  Just like Vietnam.  The politicians can't let this end in a Russian victory when Zelensky starts asking for ground forces.   An admission of failure.  It also takes years of training to operate these weapons systems and tanks in combat situations.  Does anyone really believe the US does not have advisors already in Ukraine operating much of this equipment?  They are just going to send billions in weapons systems to people who are not trained to use them?

The Leopard 2 tanks are superior to the best Russian tanks. I don't think this is looking like an impeding stalemate. The Ukrainians have held their own with limited aid so far. Let's see what the summer brings before we start to make any conclusions about an unwinnable war.

For me, I don't see how Russia can hold Crimea this year. How can the prevent the Ukrainians cutting the Crimea Land Bridge to the north? Those Leopard 2's are going to be hard to stop. The Russian's couldn't stop the Ukrainians when all they had was inferior Soviet tanks. The Russians are now going to have more luck against the Leopard 2's?

How can they prevent the Ukrainians taking out the Crimea bridge itself to the east?

How can the Russian's supply Crimea from the sea when the Moskva could not defend itself?

How can the Russian's supply Crimea through the air when both sides have such good anti-aircraft defenses. The one strong point of old Soviet equipment. Along with lots of artillery.

How can any country hold territory that is cut off? Are the Russian's going to dig a tunnel from Russia to Crimea in the next few months?

So let's wait and see how the summer plays out for Russia.

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Re: Colors of Blue and Gold
« Reply #109 on: January 25, 2023, 05:26:22 PM »


Online Richard Smith

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Re: Colors of Blue and Gold
« Reply #110 on: January 25, 2023, 05:48:58 PM »
The Leopard 2 tanks are superior to the best Russian tanks. I don't think this is looking like an impeding stalemate. The Ukrainians have held their own with limited aid so far. Let's see what the summer brings before we start to make any conclusions about an unwinnable war.

For me, I don't see how Russia can hold Crimea this year. How can the prevent the Ukrainians cutting the Crimea Land Bridge to the north? Those Leopard 2's are going to be hard to stop. The Russian's couldn't stop the Ukrainians when all they had was inferior Soviet tanks. The Russians are now going to have more luck against the Leopard 2's?

How can they prevent the Ukrainians taking out the Crimea bridge itself to the east?

How can the Russian's supply Crimea from the sea when the Moskva could not defend itself?

How can the Russian's supply Crimea through the air when both sides have such good anti-aircraft defenses. The one strong point of old Soviet equipment. Along with lots of artillery.

How can any country hold territory that is cut off? Are the Russian's going to dig a tunnel from Russia to Crimea in the next few months?

So let's wait and see how the summer plays out for Russia.

What happens if the tanks don't change the equation and the only option left is NATO sending ground forces?  The options narrow to allowing Ukraine to being overrun or sending American soldiers to fight Russians?  What then?  In Vietnam there was creeping escalation and promises of victory with escalation.  The US was drawn into that conflict step by step.  The politicians made promises that if we just escalated a bit more, then victory was at hand.  And when it didn't happen, they were trapped by their own promises and couldn't get out.   

Online Richard Smith

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Re: Colors of Blue and Gold
« Reply #111 on: January 25, 2023, 06:03:16 PM »
The US was again duped into sending tanks by our German "allies" who have done almost nothing.  The US is sending over $100 billion in weapons to Ukraine, but the Germans would only send a few tanks if the US sent our tanks.  Unreal.  And, of course, the US has paid to defend Germany for over seven decades. 

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Re: Colors of Blue and Gold
« Reply #111 on: January 25, 2023, 06:03:16 PM »


 

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