Author Topic: Law Negative Thirty-Five  (Read 4931 times)

Grant

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Re: Law Negative Thirty-Five
« Reply #50 on: March 21, 2022, 02:14:06 PM »
Agree, hindsight is much easier to justify putting a small but significant force in Ukraine. The effectiveness of the deterrent may not have worked because the Russians clearly overestimated the capacity of their armed forces.

The deterrent effect of a small force of US soldiers lies in the fact that when you start fighting them, no matter how small, more Americans will be coming, including their planes and ships. 

Grant

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Re: Law Negative Thirty-Five
« Reply #51 on: March 21, 2022, 02:28:03 PM »
It appears most of your arguments are based on this: that the nuclear fear is causing general paralysis. However since you sited this example as the ultimate case of 'it never happed and probably still won't', I thought I'd ask you whether you're aware of how it actually *did* happen in Cuba. There are a few stories like this in history:

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

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

Now you can argue that these cases are not identical (one didn't originate from Moscow) but that hardly matters. When stuff starts happening stuff can happen. And once it happens that's it. Luckily these particular Russians in history did in fact fear the nuclear insanity enough to prevent it, but over the objections of others. So it's not like we can actually trust human nature on this front. These incidents were basically just dumb luck, all things considered.

1.  I'm singularly unconvinced that Kennedy would have unleashed SAC on the Soviets had a single nuclear torpedo gone off in the Carribean.  Oh, I'll admit that LeMay would have been frothing at the mouth and that SAC would have been put on alert and been circling like buzzards over the article circle.  But the most likely effect of a russian nuclear torpedo destroying an American ship in the Carribean is Kruschev *censored*ting himself and getting on the phone immediately and then pulling the Soviet flotilla away. 

So no, I'm unconvinced that this would have led to "THE END OF ALL HUMAN CIVILLIZATION". 

2.  The reason why Petrov did not confirm the launch is the same reason why the Soviet Union would probably not have launched a counterstrike before confirming an actual attack by 1 or 5 American ICBMs.  It didn't make any sense.  Even if he had reported the launches to his superiors, there were several layers of bad decisions that would have had to been made before the Soviet Union had launched a counter-strike.  Even if Petrov had made a bad decision, this does not mean that his superiors in the Russian military would have done the same or that Yuri Andropov would have made any such mistake. 

These are myths that we came "this close" to nuclear war.  They are cute and entertaining but they don't stand up against actual critical analysis.  What they do in fact show is that Soviet safeguards worked, at lower levels, to prevent mistakes.  Precisely because everybody knew that a nuclear exchange would be bad and nobody wanted it. 

NobleHunter

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Re: Law Negative Thirty-Five
« Reply #52 on: March 21, 2022, 02:30:26 PM »
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Tell that to the guys in the Berlin Brigade in 1984.  Tell it to the entire US Army garrison in West Germany. No, we never shot directly at the Russians.  Because they never invaded West Germany.  Because we were there.  If they HAD invaded West Germany, we would have shot them!  Why would the US Army or Air Force be in Ukraine if they didn't have permission to shoot at Russians if they invaded!?!?!?!?

They didn't invade West Germany because they didn't particularly want to and because they'd have gotten nuked if they tried. The cornerstone of NATO is that if Russians/Soviets shoot at NATO troops, a nuclear response is entirely possible.

So why would the US army not shoot invading Russians? So they wouldn't start a nuclear war.

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Narrative is BS. It's simple math, as I pointed out before.  You could have put enough troops into Ukraine to defend it while making clear that it wasn't enough troops to launch an attack.  I don't care what Russian propaganda wants to make the narrative.  It's lies.  I'm not interested in lies.

How enlightened of you. Sadly, international diplomacy is very interested in lies. Telling them, believing them, taking advantage of them. It was difficult enough to get basically the entire world onside (including US allies) onside without giving people a reason to adopt "principled" opposition to sanctions.

So what degree of risk of the end of the world is acceptable?

Grant

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Re: Law Negative Thirty-Five
« Reply #53 on: March 21, 2022, 02:53:29 PM »
They didn't invade West Germany because they didn't particularly want to and because they'd have gotten nuked if they tried. The cornerstone of NATO is that if Russians/Soviets shoot at NATO troops, a nuclear response is entirely possible.

Yet NATO and the US spent trillions of dollars improving conventional combat capabilities during the 70s and 80s, specifically because they realized that if they tac nuked the Soviets, they would tac nuke back, and nobody in Europe wanted a nuclear battlefield.  NATO realized that the threat of responding to a conventional attack with nukes was insane.  It wasn't a way to win.  It was just a way to assure that both sides loosed.

The same process applies from the other side.  Russians would probably not use tac nukes on American or NATO troops because they don't want to be nuked in return. 

It's not complex.  The fallacy is in prescribing the enemy with super abilities instead of understanding your own in relation. 

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It was difficult enough to get basically the entire world onside (including US allies) onside without giving people a reason to adopt "principled" opposition to sanctions.

Don't need sanctions if you prevent the war from happening in the first place.  Back to square one.  Taking action in January would have been safer than the situation we see ourselves in now. 

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So what degree of risk of the end of the world is acceptable?

Ask the Russians that.  I'm not advocating using nuclear weapons against them.  You're telling me that the Russians would use them against NATO.  Why would they do that?  Why would they risk the end of the world?

NobleHunter

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Re: Law Negative Thirty-Five
« Reply #54 on: March 21, 2022, 03:03:46 PM »
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The same process applies from the other side.  Russians would probably not use tac nukes on American or NATO troops because they don't want to be nuked in return. 

Aren't you arguing Putin is currently developing plans to use nukes?

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Taking action in January would have been safer than the situation we see ourselves in now. 

Which is easy to say now but not as easy to say then.

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Ask the Russians that.  I'm not advocating using nuclear weapons against them.  You're telling me that the Russians would use them against NATO.  Why would they do that?  Why would they risk the end of the world?

Because they figure that's the only way to win in Ukraine, because they figure if they don't NATO will invade Russia, because they think the US doesn't have the balls to shoot one back, because of spite. We can't control Russia's actions, we can only control ours.

TheDrake

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Re: Law Negative Thirty-Five
« Reply #55 on: March 21, 2022, 03:24:28 PM »
Russia might take a page from understanding Iraq's situation. US builds up in Saudi Arabia as a preventative measure. US invades to liberate Kuwait. Then crunches a bunch of Iraqi territory. With a now crippled military and damaging sanctions, slowly squeeze until the US finds the political will to finish the job and topple all the Putin statues. Rather than let that happen they might nuke.

In other news, Wax Putin has been cancelled. Putin's invasion is getting every Russian achievement and famous person inexorably erased from a place of honor in the world. You can argue that Yuri Gagarin shouldn't get his name removed from being honored (that story sold separately), but that's quite a deterrent. Cultural erasure.

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The Paris Grevin Museum on Tuesday removed the wax figure of Russian President Vladimir Putin in protest against his invasion of Ukraine and after it was damaged by visitors over the weekend.

The statue, which was created in 2000, was moved to a warehouse until further notice and the museum is considering replacing it with a statue of Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky.

"Today is it no longer possible to present a character like him...for the first time in the museum's history we are withdrawing a statue because of historical events currently under way," museum director Yves Delhommeau told France Bleu radio.

Grant

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Re: Law Negative Thirty-Five
« Reply #56 on: March 21, 2022, 03:29:14 PM »
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Aren't you arguing Putin is currently developing plans to use nukes?

Yeah.  Probably inside Ukraine.  Around Keev or Lviv.  Where no NATO troops are now. 

Although I will say that Pooter may see war with NATO as inevitable now.  My nightmare scenario is Russia launching a tac nuke Kinzhal at Brussels during the NATO summit there.  Effectively decapitating NATO in one move.  Why?  Because it would scare the *censored* out of everyone and yes, NATO would be effectively headless.  But that's why I say the situation we are in now is more dangerous than the situation of putting troops into Ukraine in January.  At that point Pooter can still not invade and he gets the small victory of spreading propaganda about the US being warmongers, splitting NATO further.  BUT, the invasion is stopped and the situation is not as dangerous. 

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Which is easy to say now but not as easy to say then.

Sure.  Hindsight IS 20/20.  I'm not criticizing people, even if I think they are wrong.  It's refusing to see that a mistake was made, why the mistake was made, and how to correct for it.  It seems Hindsight ISN'T 20/20 for everybody, depending on how willing they are to admit mistakes. 

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Because they figure that's the only way to win in Ukraine, because they figure if they don't NATO will invade Russia, because they think the US doesn't have the balls to shoot one back, because of spite. We can't control Russia's actions, we can only control ours.

None of that makes any sense.  If they figure they cannot win in Ukraine before invading the logical move is not to invade.  Not make things more likely for them to lose by nuking NATO troops.  As I said before, nobody realistically believes that NATO was ever in a position to invade Russia except useful idiots sucking up Russian propaganda.  The Russians don't really believe that NATO ever considered invading Russia.  They may be paranoid about it, but looking at a map can see that a Brigade of American paratroopers or mech infantry cannot conquer Russia.  Jeez. 


Grant

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Re: Law Negative Thirty-Five
« Reply #57 on: March 21, 2022, 03:38:15 PM »
Russia might take a page from understanding Iraq's situation. US builds up in Saudi Arabia as a preventative measure. US invades to liberate Kuwait. Then crunches a bunch of Iraqi territory. With a now crippled military and damaging sanctions, slowly squeeze until the US finds the political will to finish the job and topple all the Putin statues. Rather than let that happen they might nuke.

OK.  So this Russian military analyst sees a single brigade of American troops in Ukraine, and then extrapolates that they will do with that one brigade what took NINE! American DIVISIONS, with four allied divisions (I'm not even counting the Saudis, don't think the Iraqis did either) to do against an army, I dunno, one quarter the size that Russia can field on the border with Ukraine? 

Man, that is one powerful Brigade.  Are they made up exclusively of Dark Troopers?  Captain America clones? 

See, it's very easy to make it clear that you are taking a defensive posture with your forces, rather than an offensive posture, just with the amount of boots you are putting on the ground. 


TheDrake

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Re: Law Negative Thirty-Five
« Reply #58 on: March 21, 2022, 03:49:00 PM »
We didn't even have one brigade in Kuwait prior to the invasion. Maybe you'd like to argue that we should have put one there, that might have actually made some sense. Or maybe Hussein was so crazy that he would have attacked anyway. Or it might have gotten a brigade obliterated. Why would it have been such a massive deterrent again? I don't see how you can say, "if only there was a brigade there, Putin never would have invaded." Instead, it could have been collateral damage or targeted, but either way now you've got 200 million Americans watching coffins come home and clamoring for World War 3.

TheDrake

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Re: Law Negative Thirty-Five
« Reply #59 on: March 21, 2022, 03:56:22 PM »
Otherwise riddle me this. Why don't we just rent out a brigade to every country on earth and get world peace out of it? After all, nobody would dare attack us, that's the premise?

Grant

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Re: Law Negative Thirty-Five
« Reply #60 on: March 21, 2022, 03:59:45 PM »
Why would it have been such a massive deterrent again? I don't see how you can say, "if only there was a brigade there, Putin never would have invaded." Instead, it could have been collateral damage or targeted, but either way now you've got 200 million Americans watching coffins come home and clamoring for World War 3.

::SIGH::

I explained this.  Because the single brigade means that you actually have to deal with the entire USAFEUR.  Then you have to think that now you have killed American troops and that you are at war with America and that more Americans are coming and now you will lose.  You can't win.  The only way to win is to convince the Americans not to show up, which Pooter did.  He just didn't count of his own army being inept and the Ukrainians being that good. 

But yeah, Pooter doesn't want 200 million Americans clamoring for "WORLD WAR 3!!!!" (God I'm getting tired of that).  That's why he would most likely be DETERRED, which is the whole point.  That's why we have only a few thousand troops in Poland and the Baltics right now!  That's the plan!  That's how it works!  That's the way it's always worked!  Russia doesn't want a piece of the United States. 

Grant

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Re: Law Negative Thirty-Five
« Reply #61 on: March 21, 2022, 04:03:10 PM »
Otherwise riddle me this. Why don't we just rent out a brigade to every country on earth and get world peace out of it? After all, nobody would dare attack us, that's the premise?

That is in fact the premise and seems like a great idea. That is exactly the reason why we have American troops all over the frickin world, at those countries' requests.  But somebody is going to start complaining about having "500 bases"! or some nonsense and bring everybody back. 

TheDrake

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Re: Law Negative Thirty-Five
« Reply #62 on: March 21, 2022, 04:48:50 PM »
That sure worked well, having a barracks in Beirut. Total immunity. From invasion, I guess. So instead of Russia invading, we get "local separatists" who drive a truck bomb into the base? There has to be a credible threat that we're going to go all out, like Japan or South Korea. Not like Somalia or Beirut. Otherwise we just get picked off by proxies.

Grant

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Re: Law Negative Thirty-Five
« Reply #63 on: March 21, 2022, 05:03:17 PM »
So instead of Russia invading, we get "local separatists" who drive a truck bomb into the base?

If your primary mission was deterring invasion, you've still accomplished it.  If your secondary mission was force protection, you need to get better at defending against jagoffs driving truck bombs onto bases. 

Not really sure if this is a realistic scenario.  Given a bit of time, force protection from truck bombs are pretty easy.  Concertina wire.  Concrete barriers.  50 cals.  Guard towers.  Pretty simple.  The commanders in Beruit were negligent on security.  I guess incompetence is never unrealistic as a scenario. 

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There has to be a credible threat that we're going to go all out, like Japan or South Korea. Not like Somalia or Beirut. Otherwise we just get picked off by proxies.

The difference is the level of insurgency you're dealing with.  Lebanon, high.  Ukraine, very low.  It helps to have something you can hit back at.  You can't hit back at insurgents, because if you knew where they were, you would be hitting them already. 

TheDrake

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Re: Law Negative Thirty-Five
« Reply #64 on: March 21, 2022, 05:22:16 PM »
Crimea was basically picked off without regular Russian troops. Spots in the east might have been similarly knocked off. Kyiv falling wouldn't be on the table. In hindsight, we now know exactly how little support the Russian troops are getting from ethnic Russians in Ukraine, but there was at least a decent chance a priori that you're signing yourself up for a constant grind of low level US casualties that would look more like Northern Ireland for the UK than the dramatic result of a Beirut or even an Oklahoma City bombing. There wasn't any American public political will to support that. And that's really the issue, isn't it?

Grant

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Re: Law Negative Thirty-Five
« Reply #65 on: March 21, 2022, 05:37:17 PM »
but there was at least a decent chance a priori that you're signing yourself up for a constant grind of low level US casualties that would look more like Northern Ireland for the UK than the dramatic result of a Beirut or even an Oklahoma City bombing.

Ehhh.  Don't know. Depends on how you qualify "a decent chance".  Not everywhere is Afghanistan or Lebanon.  It being a possibility to consider?  Sure.  But again, if your primary goal is deterring an invasion like we're seeing now, then you win, even if the price is a constant grind.  The actual possibility?  I would have said 10%.  Before the invasion.  Now?  Less than 1%.  It also depends on where you set your forces up.  Near Keev?  Safer.  In the Donbass?  More dangerous.  But still pretty stable any way you look at it.

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There wasn't any American public political will to support that. And that's really the issue, isn't it?

Yes.  That is the issue.  Hence the need for evaluation and reflection by the American public of how things may have been done better and learn from them.  Or we can all just absolve ourselves, say it's not our problem, not our fault, nothing we could do, not in NATO, so sad.  You're never going to make the perfect decision.  But it is important to learn from mistakes. 

rightleft22

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Re: Law Negative Thirty-Five
« Reply #66 on: March 21, 2022, 06:26:07 PM »
RNGesus, save us. 

Some people have managed to convince themselves that moving troops into a country, at their request, ostensibly to protect it, is escalation and reason for invasion. 

Some people have been drinking too much of Pooter's Kool-Aid.  You're swallowing Russian propaganda.  Spit it out. 

I honestly don't care how it plays on Fox News, and I don't see why anyone else would either. 

In order to make the US look bad, Pooter would have had to abandon his invasion, which he would have.  In return for looking bad in front of Germany and Fox News, we would have prevented the invasion of Ukraine, and it would have been better for Ukraine, Russia, eastern Europe, NATO, and the United States.  Now we're stuck.

That's the point - People do and are swallowing Pooters kool-add including many Americans

Putting troops on the ground in January changes the narrative and creates the possibility of dissent within NATO vice the current united front.

If we have learned anything from the last 8+ years is that thier are always people and countries that want to drink the kool-aid. To dismiss that realty is to play into the hands of men like pooter.

If as you speculate putting troops on the ground forced Pooter to back down (that is a big IF) but angered some of the NATO countries (and Fox news cum in thier pants along with thier followers). How is that not a Pooter win? Even a bigger win then if he was able to walk in and just take Ukraine.

Grant

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Re: Law Negative Thirty-Five
« Reply #67 on: March 21, 2022, 07:01:12 PM »
If as you speculate putting troops on the ground forced Pooter to back down (that is a big IF) but angered some of the NATO countries (and Fox news cum in thier pants along with thier followers). How is that not a Pooter win? Even a bigger win then if he was able to walk in and just take Ukraine.

Because Germany being pissed is not as bad as having thousands and thousands of dead people in Ukraine.  Because it means cities like Madripol are not systematically destroyed block by block.
 Because it means that MILLIONS of refugees are not fleeing their homes in Ukraine to Europe, leaving everything behind.  Because it means no sanctions which hurts everybody in Russia AND Europe.  Because it means that we're not stuck in this position now where Pooter is losing strategically and is running out of time operationally and POLAND is talking about going it alone and Pooter being desperate is more dangerous than Pooter foiled. 

Yeah.  I'll take all of that if it means the price is Germany being pissy that the United States took Ukraine up on it's invitation and Fox News can make up some more BS. 

I mean, is that your primary concern?  That Fox News makes something new up?  That Germany gets upset?  Over preventing a WAR? 

I mean, everybody seems to be so concerned about stopping "WURLD WUR THREEEEEEE", but the same people can't seem to recognize the best time to prevent it is before the spark catches fire. 

TheDrake

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Re: Law Negative Thirty-Five
« Reply #68 on: March 22, 2022, 08:40:52 AM »
Well there's Germany being pissy, Germany withdrawing from NATO, Germany trying to form an alternate all-Euro alliance. I haven't thought too seriously about that to evaluate any likelihood, but when nations get their national interests messed with they don't normally care if it was for a good cause. Germany getting pissed enough to prevent US troops from being supported through German airspace could be a disaster, since that country is a lynchpin of American logistics in Europe.

Fenring

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Re: Law Negative Thirty-Five
« Reply #69 on: March 22, 2022, 09:23:56 AM »
Well there's Germany being pissy, Germany withdrawing from NATO, Germany trying to form an alternate all-Euro alliance. I haven't thought too seriously about that to evaluate any likelihood, but when nations get their national interests messed with they don't normally care if it was for a good cause. Germany getting pissed enough to prevent US troops from being supported through German airspace could be a disaster, since that country is a lynchpin of American logistics in Europe.

To say nothing of the fact that Germany is also a lynchpin of the IMF, helping to bail out countries like Greece which would otherwise create a domino of bankruptcies. Their general cooperation probably is more important than the Ukraine, sad as that is to say.

rightleft22

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Re: Law Negative Thirty-Five
« Reply #70 on: March 22, 2022, 09:38:06 AM »
I hear you Grant

Would Putin had back down if the US put boots on the Ground?
Would NATO have followed or pushed back?
How long would the US have left those troops in Place?
If Putin didn't back down and US suffered casualties would the US people support full out war with Russia? For how long?

How certain are you that your strategy puts out the fire vice putting oil on the fire? How many lives are you willing to place that bet? (A horrible calculation to have to make, but that is what War is. A absurd horrific  calculation...) 

Everything abut this situation is absurd and in my opinion a lose lose for everyone. It does not make sense.

One thing I have learned over the last few years is that Narrative matters and having the Narrative initiative its a important, maybe the most important, in the evolution of war in this new old absurd world. 

TheDrake

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Re: Law Negative Thirty-Five
« Reply #71 on: March 22, 2022, 10:05:15 AM »
When someone has truly disproportionate power, like the Organians from Star Trek, then they can make war obsolete. As it stands, thinking that Americans are mighty enough to prevent war (particularly when we're much better at starting them) is hubris of the highest order. We can prevent one kind of war, but this might invite another kind. I'm glad I don't have to make those kinds of decisions. I'm not even sure of the right decision here, but what I do know is that it isn't some kind of no-brainer, duh, we obviously should have started pointing our conventional missiles at Russian troops. Because we never had to put actual units in Ukraine, if we just declared that we were going to defend them unequivocally and fighters were fueled up and flying combat air patrols over key Ukrainian cities. What we don't know is where that ultimately leads in clandestine, cyber, and other theatres of warfare and conflict.