Geopolitics (Too "Whataboutery" for Other Threads).

Mciahel Goodman

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So in your opinion the vote in 91 on independence and Russian recognition of it borders as they stood is irrelevant?

Negated in your view because for a while during a crisis produced by Russia in the first place, an indeterminant percentage of some parts of the Ukraine may have supported an anti Nazi resistance to a non existent threat created by Russia.
They voted to leave the USSR not to renounce their Russian identity.

I don't think Russia was alone in producing that crisis. How would they benefit when they had no need to invade Crimea for 23 years because they maintained de facto control? And the threat was not "non-existent". Thousands died in the ensuing conflict, most of whom were Russian speakers in the East. Massacres in Odessa and Mariupol carried out by neo-Nazi groups were not "created by Russia" but actually happened.

Ukraine is split along cultural or ethnic/linguistic lines. The two eastern oblasts (Luhansk/Donetsk) are overwhelimingly Russian speaking and identify primarily as Russian (as Russo-Ukrainian). Same with Crimea. But that 85%-90% Russian identification rate doesn't hold outside those three oblasts. Overall, the east and SE generally identify as Russian speaking much more than the North and West, or what you could call Greater Ukraine.
 

Don't Kill Bill

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They voted to leave the USSR not to renounce their Russian identity.

I don't think Russia was alone in producing that crisis
. How would they benefit when they had no need to invade Crimea for 23 years because they maintained de facto control? And the threat was not "non-existent". Thousands died in the ensuing conflict, most of whom were Russian speakers in the East. Massacres in Odessa and Mariupol carried out by neo-Nazi groups were not "created by Russia" but actually happened.

Ukraine is split along cultural or ethnic/linguistic lines. The two eastern oblasts (Luhansk/Donetsk) are overwhelimingly Russian speaking and identify primarily as Russian (as Russo-Ukrainian). Same with Crimea. But that 85%-90% Russian identification rate doesn't hold outside those three oblasts. Overall, the east and SE generally identify as Russian speaking much more than the North and West, or what you could call Greater Ukraine.
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1.They voted to leave the USSR not to renounce their Russian identity.

OK lets see, correct me if I am wrong this I believe is the translated independence statement which was voted on.

"
VERKHOVNA RADA OF UKRAINE RESOLUTION
On Declaration of Independence of Ukraine

(Vidomosti Verkhovnoyi Rady (VVR) 1991, #38, p. 502​

The Verkhovna Rada of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic r e s o l v e s that:

- Ukraine shall be declared an independent democratic state on August 24, 1991.

Upon declaration of its independence, only its Constitution, laws, orders of the Government, and other legislative acts of the republic are valid on the territory of Ukraine.

- A republican referendum shall be organized on December 1, 1991 to confirm the act of declaration of independence.

Chairperson of the Verkhovna Rada of the Ukrainian SSR Leonid Kravchuk

Kyiv, August 24, 1991

#1427-XII​



Act of Declaration of Independence of Ukraine
In view of the mortal danger surrounding Ukraine in connection with the state coup in the USSR on August 19, 1991,

Continuing the thousand-year tradition of state development in Ukraine,

Proceeding from the right of a nation to self-determination in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and other international legal documents, and

Implementing the Declaration of State Sovereignty of Ukraine, the Verkhovna Rada of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic solemnly declares

Independence of Ukraine and creation of the independent Ukrainian state - UKRAINE.

The territory of Ukraine is indivisible and inviolable.

From this day forward, the Constitution and laws of Ukraine only are valid on the territory of Ukraine.

This act comes into force upon its approval.

VERKHOVNA RADA OF UKRAINE
August 24, 1991


"


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They voted for independence as a nation. It wasn't a USSRexit. Particularly note,


"The territory of Ukraine is indivisible and inviolable."

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2,
I don't think Russia was alone in producing that crisis

If the Russian govt had continued to accept Ukrainian independence as Yeltsin had said it would then none of this would have happened. The change in stance by Putin and the continued negative interference in Ukrainian politics did more to drive Ukraine to look west than anything the US or the EU did. You can not beat your ex wife back into loving you.


So yes, Russia alone is responsible for the Maidan crisis because of the attempt to force Ukraine into the Eurasia block and yes Russia has to own the culpability for this invasion.

It is all about the same thing. Ukraine isn't part of Russia anymore and Putin doesn't like that.
 

Mciahel Goodman

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So yes, Russia alone is responsible for the Maidan crisis because of the attempt to force Ukraine into the Eurasia block and yes Russia has to own the culpability for this invasion.
Moving beyond the first part which is just the independence from the USSR (as I said), Russia was not alone in the Maidan crisis. It absolutely bears responsibility, but you'd be naive to think the US were not actively involved (not least because of the documentary evidence which tells us the US was actively involved).
It is all about the same thing. Ukraine isn't part of Russia anymore and Putin doesn't like that.
It was never a part of Russia, and USSR dissolved 30 years ago so that was never the problem. But Russia did use it as a buffer state, against NATO expansion, by controling it de facto. The problem, from Russia's pov, is that it became part of NATO via the backdoor and that NATO armed, funded, and in every respect supported eight years of civil war in the Donbas, upon Russia's border.

Also, the EU-Eurasian issue was a 52-48 split when Maidan happened. The problem for the Ukrainian government is that most of the 52% was concentrated in the West and dominated Kyiv. Russia obviously played a part. The US obviously played a part. You have to purposefully forget a lot of facts to come to the view that the US did not play a part in Maidan. And my broader point has always been that Russia/US both want control of Ukraine for different reasons, which does not exclude Russian interference within Ukraine but actually presupposes it.
 
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rpitroda

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I'm not sure it does. You can read it as justifying the US embargo of Cuba in 1963 but it doesn't apply to many situations beyond that. Absolutely doesn't apply beyond the end of the Cold War.

Yes, Russia has been meddling in the Ukraine since 1991, or since it became Russia. So has the US, though.


The invasion was the wrong response. Both morally and tactically (probably, anyway). I've never seen anyone say it was the right or smart thing for Russia to do.


I raised the issue of war crimes prior to the war crimes thread and am partly the reason there exists a war crimes thread. So this doesn't apply to me. What we're dealing with here is mostly an epistemological debate and things like geography will also be massive factors:


That has changed over the past two months, but even then Turkey, a NATO member, viewed NATO+US as more responsible for the war than Russia. If you polled the Global South you'd get an even better understanding of how people view these things outside the US/EU/"western" bubble.
It’s odd you assume there is a bubble in west, but somehow manage to act enlightened by not acknowledging that there is significant anti US sentiment which isn’t always justified in many places in the world?

Also nonsense it doesn’t justify any other US action. To be clear, I’m not the one saying US actions are justifiable. You are. By your own logic in this war. Very strange you can’t see why that is, but alas, it’s actually not.
 

rpitroda

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Mate. If you dont get what i say of course you will call it rubbish

Im not saying that ukrania is fighting for the US. Im saying that the US had been playing Ukraine to go against the russian interests for geopolitics investing bilions on anti russian movement and one of the causes was reaching the climax of the coup of 2014. And now the US didnt provoke the current war but is one of tge ones that stirred tge pot and is more than happy to use ukrania for their benefit

You will call it rubbish, but US had beem doing this over and over. As russia does the same in other ways (US elections maybe) and feance and uk at a lower scale (bigger in the past)
Actually no, I am fully aware that the US influences the politics of other countries. But so does every single other country on the planet. Attempting to convince a government to be in your favour is literally politics. It’s funny you choose to sit here and say the US should accept blame in Russia because they tried to get Ukraine to align more with the west than Russia, as if that is something that isn’t normal? Didn’t Russia also try and encourage Ukraine to align with them rather than the West? You are acting as if the US is the only country that does this. Every country does. So you can sit here and say the US trying to influence Ukraine led to this. That’s be true. But the bit thats bullshit is saying that a) that is wrong and not normal (because every country does it) and then b) bizarrely trying to therefore apportion the US blame for this.

As for the point about Ukraine fighting Russia for the US, go read your original post. You literally wrote that.
 

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First (Maidan) leads to second and third (Crimea/Dntsk/Luhansk).

Is it not going well? I have no idea if it is or it isn't. The US/EU/NATO/Ukraine are putting out a lot of propaganda on one hand and Russia are putting out a lot on the other. Hard to know what's happening on the ground unless you're willing to believe one side's propaganda. Better to wait and see where/how it ends up.

Edit: one thing I do know is that the US called for a ceasefire on the 13th of May. That may have been to give Russia an "off-ramp" or it may be because Russia has encircled Ukrainian troops in the SE of the country. The problem is that it's hard to know what's happening either way. If you read a Western leaning outlet, you'll come away convinced that Ukraine is winning and Russian defeat is a matter of time. If you read a Russian leaning outlet, you'll believe the opposite. Some of the best analysis I've seen so far basically places it in the middle and says we're looking at a war of attrition in which Russia is neither winning nor losing. A stalemate, basically.

Also bear in mind that I don't want Russia to "win". I want negotiations that lead to peace. I've not taken a side. People standing with Ukraine tend to be standing with an imperialist vision of selective war-support. I'm not having any of that, personally, but if you do then fine.


They're partially responsible. No real number to it, but they absolutely bear some responsibility. Were warned about it for decades and proceeded anyway.
"People standing with Ukraine tend to be standing with an imperialist vision of selective war-support."

Let me reframe that: standing with a country that has been invaded by an aggressor. It is that simple.

By the way, for a country that talks so much about "security concerns", maybe they ought to treat their own troops better rather than throwing them at Ukraine like cannon fodder. How about concerns of their troops.
 

rpitroda

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Moving beyond the first part which is just the independence from the USSR (as I said), Russia was not alone in the Maidan crisis. It absolutely bears responsibility, but you'd be naive to think the US were not actively involved (not least because of the documentary evidence which tells us the US was actively involved).

It was never a part of Russia, and USSR dissolved 30 years ago so that was never the problem. But Russia did use it as a buffer state, against NATO expansion, by controling it de facto. The problem, from Russia's pov, is that it became part of NATO via the backdoor and that NATO armed, funded, and in every respect supported eight years of civil war in the Donbas, upon Russia's border.

Also, the EU-Eurasian issue was a 52-48 split when Maidan happened. The problem for the Ukrainian government is that most of the 52% was concentrated in the West and dominated Kyiv. Russia obviously played a part. The US obviously played a part. You have to purposefully forget a lot of facts to come to the view that the US did not play a part in Maidan. And my broader point has always been that Russia/US both want control of Ukraine for different reasons, which does not exclude Russian interference within Ukraine but actually presupposes it.
Just on the last part, every country wants “control” (your word, but it’s wrong, the word is influence) over every other country that has a strategic advantage to it. You act like that isn’t normal. As I posted above I don’t think anyone is saying the US didn’t influence Ukraine, just like Russia. The US and Russia have been influencing many many countries over the years across the world. The thing I think is frankly ridiculous is using that to apportion blame on the US. Even if a little blame. Because it’s nonsense. Trying to influence countries, even if it leads to chaos, is part of being a super power and politics. I don’t always agree with it, but it’s sadly what every country does. Invading, even if linked to those activities, is not acceptable. It’s a “shit I lost the political battle so feck it I’ll run them to the ground / try take it physically” approach. Which is not justified. And cannot even 0.00001 be blamed on other countries except that one which perpetrates it. And I said before, if you start setting this precedent, I can find many countries who are partially responsible for many of the US’ military actions.

As for the % of western support and concentration of where that vote is, staying in the EU was concentrated in London, yet here we are. Maybe the EU should have invaded us?
 

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Actually no, I am fully aware that the US influences the politics of other countries. But so does every single other country on the planet. Attempting to convince a government to be in your favour is literally politics. It’s funny you choose to sit here and say the US should accept blame in Russia because they tried to get Ukraine to align more with the west than Russia, as if that is something that isn’t normal? Didn’t Russia also try and encourage Ukraine to align with them rather than the West? You are acting as if the US is the only country that does this. Every country does. So you can sit here and say the US trying to influence Ukraine led to this. That’s be true. But the bit thats bullshit is saying that a) that is wrong and not normal (because every country does it) and then b) bizarrely trying to therefore apportion the US blame for this.
Mate, getting to align a country is one thing, financing coups ad overthrowing democratic elected goverments are another. And the US has been doing that at every continenrs for decades

As for the point about Ukraine fighting Russia for the US, go read your original post. You literally wrote that.
Because the US is fighting the russians in a proxy war using the ukranians. Is what a proxy war is, using others for your end game, happened in afghanistan in the 80s, and others. Not that the ukranians go to war for the US willingly and "for the US", they are fighting for their survival that sligns with the US endgame ergo fighting for the US plans because is the common enemy but different goals, one survival the other gropolitics. They get caught up on this crap so unwillingly making the dirty work for the US...not that difficult to understand

At the end of the day, ukraine it is strategically very important, and US invested on stir the shit pot. The russians, as a good all fashioned authoritarian war mongering resorted to the worst case escenario commiting this attrocity of a war (and previous occupation in 2014) and US is just harvesting the fruits of what they planted. And that happened for decades. Nothing new.

And yes other countries did it before and will do it after. But it seems that the small part (because the vast amount of blame is to russia) that the US has in a this shitshow it cant even be mentioned
 

rpitroda

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Mate, getting to align a country is one thing, financing coups ad overthrowing democratic elected goverments are another. And the US has been doing that at every continenrs for decades



Because the US is fighting the russians in a proxy war using the ukranians. Is what a proxy war is, using others for your end game, happened in afghanistan in the 80s, and others. Not that the ukranians go to war for the US willingly and "for the US", they are fighting for their survival that sligns with the US endgame ergo fighting for the US plans because is the common enemy but different goals, one survival the other gropolitics. They get caught up on this crap so unwillingly making the dirty work for the US...not that difficult to understand

At the end of the day, ukraine it is strategically very important, and US invested on stir the shit pot. The russians, as a good all fashioned authoritarian war mongering resorted to the worst case escenario commiting this attrocity of a war (and previous occupation in 2014) and US is just harvesting the fruits of what they planted. And that happened for decades. Nothing new.

And yes other countries did it before and will do it after. But it seems that the small part (because the vast amount of blame is to russia) that the US has in a this shitshow it cant even be mentioned
You contradict yourself so many times. And backtrack on words you write. I’m done trying to engage in a sensible debate with someone incapable.
 

Mciahel Goodman

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Just on the last part, every country wants “control” (your word, but it’s wrong, the word is influence) over every other country that has a strategic advantage to it. You act like that isn’t normal. As I posted above I don’t think anyone is saying the US didn’t influence Ukraine, just like Russia. The US and Russia have been influencing many many countries over the years across the world. The thing I think is frankly ridiculous is using that to apportion blame on the US. Even if a little blame. Because it’s nonsense. Trying to influence countries, even if it leads to chaos, is part of being a super power and politics. I don’t always agree with it, but it’s sadly what every country does. Invading, even if linked to those activities, is not acceptable. It’s a “shit I lost the political battle so feck it I’ll run them to the ground / try take it physically” approach. Which is not justified. And cannot even 0.00001 be blamed on other countries except that one which perpetrates it. And I said before, if you start setting this precedent, I can find many countries who are partially responsible for many of the US’ military actions.

As for the % of western support and concentration of where that vote is, staying in the EU was concentrated in London, yet here we are. Maybe the EU should have invaded us?
I agree mostly with what you're saying, even the part in bold, except for one thing: Ukraine is a Russian border security issue. It isn't just a game of influence for the sake of it as the Russians see it. It's why the similarity to Cuba makes sense. For the Russians, this is an existential threat and why Obama used to refer to Russian escalatory dominance on its border. There aren't many examples I can think of, except for Cuba, which mirror the Ukrainian situation now. Where influence for one country (USSR) is a redline and existential threat for another (US), which was itself partly in response to US doing the same thing in Turkey.

Edit:

Basically it is about influence, and Russia did lose the political battle in Western/Greater Ukraine, and that doesn't validate their invasion, ...but for Russia, influence in Ukraine matters more. It's been a red flag for decades and it isn't just a Putin issue.

Not everyone would see the Ukraine crisis as a perplexing product of Putin’s eccentricities. Consider the current CIA director, William Burns. Back in 2008, the year George W. Bush fatefully badgered reluctant European leaders into pledging future NATO membership to Ukraine, Burns sent a memo to then-Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice that included this warning:

Ukrainian entry into NATO is the brightest of all red lines for the Russian elite (not just Putin). In more than two and a half years of conversations with key Russian players, from knuckle-draggers in the dark recesses of the Kremlin to Putin’s sharpest liberal critics, I have yet to find anyone who views Ukraine in NATO as anything other than a direct challenge to Russian interests.

Burns added that it was “hard to overstate the strategic consequences” of offering Ukraine NATO membership—a move that, he predicted, would “create fertile soil for Russian meddling in Crimea and eastern Ukraine.”

So Burns predicted 12 years ago that pretty much the entire Russian national security establishment would be inclined to make trouble in Ukraine if we offered NATO membership to Ukraine—yet now that we’ve promised NATO membership to Ukraine and Putin is indeed making trouble in Ukraine, people like McFaul and Nichols say the explanation must lie somewhere in the murky depths of Putin’s peculiar psychology.
https://nonzero.substack.com/p/why-biden-didnt-negotiate-seriously?utm_source=url&s=r


“Putin acted in Ukraine in response to a client state that was about to slip out of his grasp. And he improvised in a way to hang on to his control there,” he said. “He’s done the exact same thing in Syria, at enormous cost to the well-being of his own country. And the notion that somehow Russia is in a stronger position now, in Syria or in Ukraine, than they were before they invaded Ukraine or before he had to deploy military forces to Syria is to fundamentally misunderstand the nature of power in foreign affairs or in the world generally. Real power means you can get what you want without having to exert violence. Russia was much more powerful when Ukraine looked like an independent country but was a kleptocracy that he could pull the strings on.”

Obama’s theory here is simple: Ukraine is a core Russian interest but not an American one, so Russia will always be able to maintain escalatory dominance there.

“The fact is that Ukraine, which is a non-nato country, is going to be vulnerable to military domination by Russia no matter what we do,” he said.


I asked Obama whether his position on Ukraine was realistic or fatalistic.

“It’s realistic,” he said. “But this is an example of where we have to be very clear about what our core interests are and what we are willing to go to war for. And at the end of the day, there’s always going to be some ambiguity.” He then offered up a critique he had heard directed against him, in order to knock it down. “I think that the best argument you can make on the side of those who are critics of my foreign policy is that the president doesn’t exploit ambiguity enough. He doesn’t maybe react in ways that might cause people to think, Wow, this guy might be a little crazy.”

“The ‘crazy Nixon’ approach,” I said: Confuse and frighten your enemies by making them think you’re capable of committing irrational acts.

“But let’s examine the Nixon theory,” he said. “So we dropped more ordnance on Cambodia and Laos than on Europe in World War II, and yet, ultimately, Nixon withdrew, Kissinger went to Paris, and all we left behind was chaos, slaughter, and authoritarian governments that finally, over time, have emerged from that hell. When I go to visit those countries, I’m going to be trying to figure out how we can, today, help them remove bombs that are still blowing off the legs of little kids. In what way did that strategy promote our interests?”
https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2016/04/the-obama-doctrine/471525/
 
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"Killing millions in Vietnam is immoral, but killing millions in Cuba would be less so because of the proximity to Florida."
 

Mciahel Goodman

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"Killing millions in Vietnam is immoral, but killing millions in Cuba would be less so because of the proximity to Florida."
What was the US border security issue in Vietnam? How did Vietnam threaten the US directly? There was none and it didn't. It was a French colonial outpost ceded to the US post-War. Cuba was obviously different with nuclear weapons a couple score of miles off Florida's coast. The Cuban action can be read as defensive but the Vietnamese one cannot.
 
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nickm

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nd my broader point has always been that Russia/US both want control of Ukraine for different reasons, which does not exclude Russian interference within Ukraine but actually presupposes it.
My problem right there is with the word control, which gives a false equivalence to US and Russian actions. A fairer characterisation would be to say Russian 100% does want to decide things for Ukraine, while the US wants Ukraine to be able to decide things for itself.
 

Mciahel Goodman

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My problem right there is with the word control, which gives a false equivalence to US and Russian actions. A fairer characterisation would be to say Russian 100% does want to decide things for Ukraine, while the US wants Ukraine to be able to decide things for itself.
I agree that "influence" is a better term either way. The US has as its declared goal the balcanization of the Russian Federation, something which it has often repeated. Its goals in Ukraine aren't entirely benevolent. It wants to weaken Russia. If that means Ukraine joining EU/NATO or whatever, then that's what the US will push for and what Russia will push against. The same way the Russians annexed parts of Georgia when Bush invited them to join NATO as territorial disputes typically invalidate a country's entry.

Or just read the latest development regarding the Solomon Islands posted here about six weeks ago. They freely decided to opt for a Chinese dominated bloc and the US/AUKUS response was that a war in the Solomon Islands might be necessary. Is that wanting the Solomon Islands to control themselves? Or does it demonstrate that AUKUS wants to retain influence over the pacific islands?
 

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I agree mostly with what you're saying, even the part in bold, except for one thing: Ukraine is a Russian border security issue. It isn't just a game of influence for the sake of it as the Russians see it. It's why the similarity to Cuba makes sense. For the Russians, this is an existential threat and why Obama used to refer to Russian escalatory dominance on its border. There aren't many examples I can think of, except for Cuba, which mirror the Ukrainian situation now. Where influence for one country (USSR) is a redline and existential threat for another (US), which was itself partly in response to US doing the same thing in Turkey.

Edit:

Basically it is about influence, and Russia did lose the political battle in Western/Greater Ukraine, and that doesn't validate their invasion, ...but for Russia, influence in Ukraine matters more. It's been a red flag for decades and it isn't just a Putin issue.

https://nonzero.substack.com/p/why-biden-didnt-negotiate-seriously?utm_source=url&s=r

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2016/04/the-obama-doctrine/471525/
I do understand your angle here. But you chose your word carefully. In Russia’s eyes, NATO is an existential threat. Do you really believe it is, though? And cutting to it, I don’t mean about impact on economy and global standing. Russia sees NATO as a physical threat to its existence by virtue of force. So I ask, do you really think that’s what NATO is for? Do you really think NATO is going to go and invade Russia if it secures Ukraine in its group?

Like I said, I get it. I get the Russian angle. But just because I understand what they think, that’s really quite different to thinking it’s right, valid, and appropriate. The reality is there is no risk of NATO suddenly invading Russia. I can understand why Putin would feel threatened, but any reasonable thinking non-dictator of sane mind would not.

I’ll say up front I am just using this example to challenge your assertion here and explain why it’s wrong. Not passing any view on agreement with these invasions. But you could spin the US invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq as existential if you wanted to. Thousands died in the US in one day because of this threat. Sure they aren’t on the border but terrorists aren’t a country. And this is where they were harboured. You could say it was partially Russias fault, given their involvement in regime change and geopolitics in that region. But it’s all nonsense. What the US and UK did is their responsibility and theirs only, regardless of what happened before. That’s different to saying you can’t follow the thought process or that you can’t see their reasoning. But when it comes to responsibility, only down to the country which instigates such a rash act.

Also, you must also understand that we are in a different time to the Cold War. The real risk of a direct US Russia conflict is really quite remote. Even drastic situations like this are not enough to even get troops sent over.

Anyway, we go to a tangent. My main point I wanted to make clear is no one, not even a tiny fraction, can be held to blame for what’s happening in Ukraine.
 

nickm

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I agree mostly with what you're saying, even the part in bold, except for one thing: Ukraine is a Russian border security issue. It isn't just a game of influence for the sake of it as the Russians see it. It's why the similarity to Cuba makes sense. For the Russians, this is an existential threat and why Obama used to refer to Russian escalatory dominance on its border.
Obama saw Ukraine as a core Russian interest but not an American one - that is why Russia would be able to maintain escalatory dominance - because the US didn't care enough to push back.

And despite what's being said, the facts are that the US equivocated on a number of occasions about the Russian build up on the Ukraine border, because Biden was continuing that Obama assessment of US and Russian interests. Biden even implied a "minor incursion" would be tolerated. The US only got involved when (a) it became clear Ukraine was serious about its desire to be a free nation (b) the entire European security order was at risk from Russia, not just Ukraine.
 

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But you could spin the US invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq as existential if you wanted to.
Maybe Afghanistan as the tribes gave cover to OBL. But not Iraq as Saddam had a long history of keeping terrorists out of that country, mostly because he wanted complete control. Iraq was the high point in American unipolarity. There was no existential threat to the US from Iraq, they just invaded because they could (it had been a goal since the first Gulf War).

There are few comparable examples of the Russian/Ukrainian issue as viewed from a Western POV. Cuba is the closest you can get because it ticks all the boxes.

I do understand your angle here. But you chose your word carefully. In Russia’s eyes, NATO is an existential threat. Do you really believe it is, though? And cutting to it, I don’t mean about impact on economy and global standing. Russia sees NATO as a physical threat to its existence by virtue of force. So I ask, do you really think that’s what NATO is for? Do you really think NATO is going to go and invade Russia if it secures Ukraine in its group?
I think NATO housing nuclear missiles in Ukraine would be seen as an existential threat by Russia and that their reasoning hasn't changed in two decades. I don't think NATO will invade Russia, but I do think they will try exert pressure on Russia, as they have been doing since 2008. Is there an American general who would tolerate Russian nukes in Mexico? No one would assume a Russian invasion was likely, but the presence of the weapons would still be deemed intolerable. Or maybe we would assume an invasion is likely?

that is why Russia would be able to maintain escalatory dominance
Russia maintains escalatory dominance because its entire military is set up to defend its border. It has installations all across Crimea, it has control of the Black Sea, and its Western front is its most guarded. NATO has to ship weapons into Ukraine and those deliveries are subject to Russian strikes. You'd need to bring in a lot more NATO weaponry to achieve parity and that would include a NFZ, fleets in the Black Sea, and feck knows what else. Would lead to a direct confrontation imo. Ukraine matters more to Russia because it is a border security issue, which is the point Obama was making.

Anyway, we go to a tangent. My main point I wanted to make clear is no one, not even a tiny fraction, can be held to blame for what’s happening in Ukraine.
Yeah, we won't agree. I can blame Russia for the invasion while also blaming NATO for getting involved. The invasion didn't happen in a vacuum. Doesn't mean Russia isn't responsible, also doesn't mean it wasn't provoked.
 

Mciahel Goodman

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Well yes, since the war began, the US, the EU, all of us do in fact want to weaken Russia. I wonder why that is!
Prior to the invasion, this was also the goal. You can read it in military journals going back years.
 

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Yeah, we won't agree. I can blame Russia for the invasion while also blaming NATO for getting involved. The invasion didn't happen in a vacuum. Doesn't mean Russia isn't responsible, also doesn't mean it wasn't provoked.
"Provoked". Is that another word you are using loosely which you will shortly be walking back again?
 

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"Provoked". Is that another word you are using loosely which you will shortly be walking back again?
No, I think eight years of NATO consolidation in Ukraine was a provocation. Not justification, though. When the results of what you're doing can be predicted years in advance, and it comes to fruition, then it's hard to say it wasn't, in some respect, however much you weigh it, a provocation and that it wasn't understood as such.
 

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No, I mean because nukes located in Ukraine won't matter a damn considering where we already have them and what we can send at them anyway.
True, but the same was true in the Cuban/Turkish scenario. Both the US/USSR could destroy each other many times over without either having nukes housed in Cuba or Turkey and yet it did matter.

I mean, in terms of national security you could argue that all nations with intercontinental nuclear capacity have never had a good reason to intervene in foreign conflicts. A couple of nuclear submarines strategically placed guarantees mutual destruction.
 

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But the analogy remains. It shouldn't matter, in either case, but it did/does. The question is why? And I think it comes back to basic influence, again.
Not really. The nukes we have stationed in Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium, and Turkey are locked, unarmed, in underground vaults, and are delivered by airplane.

The idea that some of those being put in Ukraine is some sort of "line in the sand" for Russia is quite the reach. We don't have those stationed in every NATO country, so it is not a foregone conclusion that they'd be in Ukraine, and we have the ability to hit Russia with 1000 nuclear missiles before we'd even have those air delivered nukes attached to the planes.
 

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Not really. The nukes we have stationed in Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium, and Turkey are locked, unarmed, in underground vaults, and are delivered by airplane.

The idea that some of those being put in Ukraine is some sort of "line in the sand" for Russia is quite the reach. We don't have those stationed in every NATO country, and we have the ability to hit Russia with 1000 nuclear missiles before we'd even have those air delivered nukes attached to the planes.
Yeah, I get this. But the US can hit Russia direct from US silos, too, and that goes both ways. But the concern still comes down to influence within border regions. That's the only way I can read the Cuban episode alongside the Monroe doctrine and the Ukrainian episode as a kind of Russian equivalent. It's the US state/security apparatus that are saying, time and time again, that Ukraine is a red line for Russia which just brings us back to spheres of influence again.

It might be that the Russians are deluded and it shouldn't be red line, but the US obviously understands that it is a red line which means they read the reality of the situation, delusion or not, quite well.
 

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Yeah, I get this. But the US can hit Russia direct from US silos, too, and that goes both ways. But the concern still comes down to influence within border regions. That's the only way I can read the Cuban episode alongside the Monroe doctrine and the Ukrainian episode as a kind of Russian equivalent. It's the US state/security apparatus that are saying, time and time again, that Ukraine is a red line for Russia which just brings us back to spheres of influence again.

It might be that the Russians are deluded and it shouldn't be red line, but the US obviously understands that it is a red line which means they read the reality of the situation, delusion or not, quite well.
Big difference between 1962 nuclear technology and 2022 nuclear technology that you seem to be glossing over there when comparing the two scenarios. The Soviets in 1962 had about 20 ICBM's that could actually make it to the US from the USSR, and those were considered so unreliable that the Soviets did not see them as a legitimate first strike option.
 

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You contradict yourself so many times. And backtrack on words you write. I’m done trying to engage in a sensible debate with someone incapable.
Not my fault that your reading comprehension is so low

Off you go
 

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Yeah, I get this. But the US can hit Russia direct from US silos, too, and that goes both ways. But the concern still comes down to influence within border regions. That's the only way I can read the Cuban episode alongside the Monroe doctrine and the Ukrainian episode as a kind of Russian equivalent. It's the US state/security apparatus that are saying, time and time again, that Ukraine is a red line for Russia which just brings us back to spheres of influence again.

It might be that the Russians are deluded and it shouldn't be red line, but the US obviously understands that it is a red line which means they read the reality of the situation, delusion or not, quite well.
Nuclear war strategy in 1962 was quite different to what it is today, and in fact to what it became just 10 years later. The precision of ICBMs was lower, SLBMs were still nascent and bombers still had a very large role. In that situation IRBMs were particularly powerful first-strike weapons.
 

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Big difference between 1962 nuclear technology and 2022 nuclear technology that you seem to be glossing over there when comparing the two scenarios. The Soviets in 1962 had about 20 ICBM's that could actually make it to the US from the USSR, and those were considered so unreliable that the Soviets did not see them as a legitimate first strike option.
So basically Cuba represented a guaranteed first-strike success for the USSR in a way that its ICBMs could not?

Nuclear war strategy in 1962 was quite different to what it is today, and in fact to what it became just 10 years later. The precision of ICBMs was lower, SLBMs were still nascent and bombers still had a very large role. In that situation IRBMs were particularly powerful first-strike weapons.
Yes, and today Russia has hypersonic missiles with nuclear tips (allegedly).
 

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So basically Cuba represented a guaranteed first-strike success for the USSR in a way that its ICBMs could not?
Yes, shorter range missiles could hit their targets quicker so warning from radar would not give enough time to launch a response. Don't forget the first such short range missiles were US, and that was the cause of the 'Cuban' missile crisis. The Cuban aspect was Russia's response to the Turkish installation.
The crisis ended when the US agreed to withdraw it's missiles from Turkey, and the Russians turned theirs back.
 

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So basically Cuba represented a guaranteed first-strike success for the USSR in a way that its ICBMs could not?
Yes, because the Soviets had good short to intermediate range nuclear missiles.

In 2022, however, three NATO countries have very good full spectrum nuclear capabilities, making Ukraine a non-issue in reality... and by that I mean on both sides. Russia would not be under any more threat of nuclear annihilation from having un-armed nuclear bombs in underground bunkers in Ukraine than they are now, and NATO has no need to put un-armed nuclear bombs in underground bunkers in Ukraine because of the capabilities that NATO members already possess.
 

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So basically Cuba represented a guaranteed first-strike success for the USSR in a way that its ICBMs could not?

Yes, and today Russia has hypersonic missiles with nuclear tips (allegedly).
1. Yes
2. It's the SLBMs that really changed the game. They might launch from 30+ minutes away, but they can also be as close as 5-10 minutes from targets. A country's view on how vulnerable they are to the threat depends on how confident they are that they are tracking the SSBNs and can sink them upon launch attempt.
 

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Yes, shorter range missiles could hit their targets quicker so warning from radar would not give enough time to launch a response. Don't forget the first such short range missiles were US, and that was the cause of the 'Cuban' missile crisis. The Cuban aspect was Russia's response to the Turkish installation.
The crisis ended when the US agreed to withdraw it's missiles from Turkey, and the Russians turned theirs back.
Yes, because the Soviets had good short to intermediate range nuclear missiles.

In 2022, however, three NATO countries have very good full spectrum nuclear capabilities, making Ukraine a non-issue in reality... and by that I mean on both sides. Russia would not be under any more threat of nuclear annihilation from having un-armed nuclear bombs in underground bunkers in Ukraine than they are now, and NATO has no need to put un-armed nuclear bombs in underground bunkers in Ukraine because of the capabilities that NATO members already possess.
All of which makes me wonder why the US continuously reports that NATO in Ukraine is the biggest red-flag to Russia. If it isn't nuclear, and there's good reason above to suggest it isn't, then it has to come back down to basic sphere of influence thought on the Russian side which the Americans have to understand because they outline it in great detail.

Not saying it is so, I'm just trying to understand US rationale for Russia's aversion to NATO in Ukraine even if we assume that Russia is deluded to think that Ukraine being in NATO makes any significant military difference.
 

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All of which makes me wonder why the US which continuously reports that NATO in Ukraine is the biggest red-flag to Russia. If it isn't nuclear, and there's good reason above to suggest it isn't, then it has to come back down to basic sphere of influence thought on the Russian side which the Americans have to understand because they outline it in great detail.

Not saying it is so, I'm just trying to understand US rationale for Russia's aversion to NATO in Ukraine even if we assume that Russia is deluded to think that Ukraine being in NATO makes any significant military difference.
What do you mean by the "US rationale for Russia's aversion to NATO"?

Shouldn't it be the Russian rationale for the Russian aversion to NATO?
 

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All of which makes me wonder why the US continuously reports that NATO in Ukraine is the biggest red-flag to Russia. If it isn't nuclear, and there's good reason above to suggest it isn't, then it has to come back down to basic sphere of influence thought on the Russian side which the Americans have to understand because they outline it in great detail.

Not saying it is so, I'm just trying to understand US rationale for Russia's aversion to NATO in Ukraine even if we assume that Russia is deluded to think that Ukraine being in NATO makes any significant military difference.
Why does the US need a rationale for someone else's actions? Ukraine is an independent country that has been invaded, and it doesn't take too much imagination to see that if that invasion is successful more invasions of more innocent countries will follow. Stopping that is a good idea if possible.