Author Topic: Russia/US-- Europe  (Read 105978 times)

ya

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Re: Russia/US-- Europe
« Reply #700 on: October 30, 2022, 04:56:30 PM »
Martin Armstrong quoting Reuters and the Independent newspaper

"While Russia has identified Britain as acting on behalf of the United States to blow up the Nord Stream Pipeline as Britain publicly denies it, Liz Truss' phone was hacked. One minute after the pipeline was destroyed she sent a text to Secretary Anthony Blinken "It's done." The Independent has acknowledged that Russia has hacked Liz Truss' phone. This is an act of war."

DougMacG

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Re: Russia/US-- Europe
« Reply #701 on: October 30, 2022, 08:53:22 PM »
Martin Armstrong quoting Reuters and the Independent newspaper

"While Russia has identified Britain as acting on behalf of the United States to blow up the Nord Stream Pipeline as Britain publicly denies it, Liz Truss' phone was hacked. One minute after the pipeline was destroyed she sent a text to Secretary Anthony Blinken "It's done." The Independent has acknowledged that Russia has hacked Liz Truss' phone. This is an act of war."

IF TRUE, this is huge (and terrible) news.  But all I find on Reuters is two denials:
https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/france-says-no-basis-russian-accusations-against-britain-2022-10-30/
https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/russia-says-british-navy-personnel-blew-up-nord-stream-gas-pipelines-2022-10-29/

Hard to believe the Russians would lie...

ya

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Re: Russia/US-- Europe
« Reply #702 on: October 31, 2022, 04:29:38 AM »
Martin Armstrong quoting Reuters and the Independent newspaper

"While Russia has identified Britain as acting on behalf of the United States to blow up the Nord Stream Pipeline as Britain publicly denies it, Liz Truss' phone was hacked. One minute after the pipeline was destroyed she sent a text to Secretary Anthony Blinken "It's done." The Independent has acknowledged that Russia has hacked Liz Truss' phone. This is an act of war."

I have not seen "Its done" being quoted elsewhere. Not sure what his source is. Martin's predictions can be wrong (rarely), but have not found him to make things up. Now if something goes belly up in the UK, that might be telling.


Crafty_Dog

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GPF: Russia-- France
« Reply #704 on: November 02, 2022, 06:13:14 AM »
November 2, 2022
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For France, Working With Russia Is Expensive
The Ukraine war has dashed nearly all of Paris’ hope of helming a “Greater Europe.”
By: Ryan Bridges
The worst day for France’s grand European vision was Feb. 24 as Russia invaded Ukraine, but a close second came a few weeks earlier, when Russia and China announced their unlimited friendship. French grand strategy was to avoid at all costs a Sino-Russian alignment. President Emmanuel Macron articulated this outlook well in an August 2019 address to France’s ambassadors, in which he said Western civilization is in decline and Europe will disappear, wrenched apart by the intensifying bipolarity of the United States and China – unless the French lead a revolt against American hegemony, accommodate the Russians, and fortify “Europe” (including Russia) into a third pole. Since the days of Charles de Gaulle, France has been uncomfortable with its often subordinate role in the Western alliance, particularly with respect to the U.S. and Britain. In mid-2019, with the U.S. losing interest in Europe, Russia and Ukraine in a stalemate, and China ascending, Paris sensed an opportunity to change its fortunes and create a more sovereign European bloc.

Macron never doubted the difficulty of this endeavor, but neither did the Kremlin take him particularly seriously. Since the invasion in late February, Russia’s repeated declarations of war on the West have snuffed out Paris’ dream of a Europe that stretches from Lisbon to Vladivostok. The best Macron, and by extension France, can do now is strive to be the one who made the grand vision possible, perhaps even by helping to accelerate the downfall of Vladimir Putin’s regime without getting any of the credit.

Grand Vision

Much of Macron’s 2019 speech is worth reading in full, but here’s a summary: European civilization is in decline, and only France can save it. The United States is part of the West, but in the same way that Russia is. Americans are different from Europeans because they place individual freedom above everything. Russia is different because it is “deeply conservative and opposed to the EU project,” a tortuously polite way of dismissing the enormity of their differences. The rivalry between these conceptions of Western civilization, according to Macron, threatens to tear the collective West asunder.

Macron believes that the global distribution of power is shifting from the U.S. toward China. The ultimate outcome of this shift is unclear, but there will likely be two centers of power, eventually, with Russia and Europe caught in between. To him, Europe and Russia are in the same boat, even if they don’t know it yet. Macron thinks their best course of action would be to reconcile, cooperate and form a “balancing power.”

What would this balancing power look like? It would be Europe, in the form of concentric circles – emanating from Paris, naturally. The first encompasses Paris and Berlin. Next comes the 19-member eurozone, then the EU-27, and then the United Kingdom, Turkey, Norway, Switzerland and others. Each successive circle represents a progressively looser relationship, with fewer obligations to each other but less power and fewer benefits. With little fanfare, the final circle was added in October, when Macron’s brainchild, the 44-member European Political Community, held its first summit in Prague. The EPC brought in the Balkan and South Caucasus states, but it publicly withheld invitations to Russia and Belarus because of the war in Ukraine. To join the outer circle, by implication, Moscow needs to end the war and show goodwill. The relationship can proceed from there, from general political dialogue to cooperation on transnational crises and, eventually, deeper economic ties.

From Macron’s point of view, these are not the same terms that the United States attempted to impose on Moscow at the end of the Cold War, so it’s possible the Kremlin would be more amenable to them. Though it’s not entirely clear what the differences are, Macron’s broader criticism of America’s Russia policy is a familiar one: After the Soviet Union’s breakup, Western Europe “gave the impression of being a Trojan Horse for [the U.S.], whose final aim was to destroy Russia.” This was possible because “Europe … did not enact its own strategy.” Whether and how much this is true is irrelevant. It is a widely held sentiment in some corners of the West, and it is especially popular in Russia, and that is what matters. It represented the bare minimum to get the conversation started.

Nightmares and No Choices

From the start, Macron knew this was a long shot. He described it as “a strategy of boldness, of risk-taking,” and praised the French for possessing “a spirit of resistance [that] does not give in to fate or adapt to things and habits.” But if it were ever achievable, it isn’t any longer. For starters, Putin did not believe that Macron could deliver on his promises. The Baltics, Poland and likely others would never accept a renovation of Europe’s security architecture that included an open door to Russia. As long as the U.S. supports them and has the troop presence in Europe to back up its words, revising the European order is out of the question. This is why Putin sent his December 2021 ultimatum to the United States, not France or even Germany.

Moreover, European strategic autonomy – Macron’s plan to overcome the U.S. veto on European strategy (aka NATO) – is in shambles. France cannot credibly guarantee the security of Central and Eastern Europe on its own, and in any case, it’s not as threatened by Russia as those regions are. It needs partners with the interest and capability to support it. The United Kingdom has lost the capability. This leaves Germany, ideally with Poland. But Germany and Poland are bickering, and predictably, Germany’s “turning of the times” announced in the days after the invasion has come full circle. Germany’s stockpiles are low on ammunition but overflowing with excuses, which seem to run out only when opinion polling shifts. Simply put, outside of tough rhetoric about the future relationship with Russia, Chancellor Olaf Scholz has given few indications of breaking with two decades of German grand strategy. Germany still resists the fiscal integration needed to make the euro stable and a viable alternative to the dollar, goes it alone on subsidies and energy policy, is slavishly committed to self-imposed debt rules that hamstring lasting investment in things like defense, and is doubling down on its trade-dependent economic strategy.

Putin correctly understood that dealing with Europe was a dead end. If anything, he appears to have read Macron’s repeated overtures – correctly, again – as weakness, or at least as evidence of cracks in the Western bloc. So when the U.S. rejected his ultimatum almost out of hand, Putin flew to Beijing and sealed a strategic partnership with President Xi Jinping. This was France’s nightmare scenario. If Russia truly sides with China – and it’s certainly not clear that that’s the case – then France has no choice but to commit to more time living in America’s shadow.

Surveying the Wreckage

At this point, Putin is radioactive. The number of European leaders who think it even possible to accommodate him is few and far between. Still, negotiations are inevitable. An entente with Russia is extremely unlikely before Macron’s second (and final) presidential term ends in 2027, so if Paris wants to take political credit in the here and now, its next best option is to help Ukraine reclaim territory and eventually secure the best possible outcome at the negotiating table. If this accelerates the end of the Putin regime, that may be for the best from France's perspective, so long as it does not unnecessarily destabilize Russian society and, just as crucially, attracts minimal attention to France’s role.

Central and Eastern Europeans are understandably worried by France’s commitment to not upsetting the Russians. For them, it betrays an eagerness to work with Russia that, they fear, could become a willingness to work with Putin. But more than that, the strategy is deferential toward Russian concerns about the presence of significant military force in Central and Eastern Europe. France could tell the Kremlin that it will never abandon its friends to the east, and that the right of it or anyone else in NATO to ensure their security is not up for discussion. But it hasn’t, preferring instead to offer Central and Eastern Europe’s security as a bargaining chip to get Russia to accept the seat left open for it at the top table.

This remains an insurmountable problem for the dream of a Greater Europe. The Western policy that Russia abhors and France regrets was made in Warsaw, Budapest, Prague and even Berlin at least as much as it was made in Washington. It is not enough for France to excise American influence over European affairs; it must replace the Americans in the eyes of those who lived beyond the Iron Curtain, or else it must strike a deal over their heads and probably destroy a major interior ring of the system of concentric circles. Either way, the price of moving forward with Russia just got a lot higher

Crafty_Dog

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GPF: Poland
« Reply #705 on: November 08, 2022, 11:06:49 AM »
Base expansion. Warsaw plans to expand its military base in Powidz, which hosts U.S. forces, according to the Polish defense minister. The expansion will include additional warehouses, hangars and a fuel reserve. Warsaw said the main goal of the enlargement is to boost the rapid response capability of U.S. and Polish troops, as well as the forces of other NATO countries.


ccp

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I agree with assessment above
« Reply #707 on: November 10, 2022, 06:40:40 AM »
"Recent reports of U.S. officials secretly encouraging Ukrainian President Zelenskyy to be open to negotiations are more than just shows of good faith. This reflects the growing fatigue and cost of the war, as well as the dawning realization that Russia has more leverage in the situation than the leaders of the West are letting on publicly."

I agree with 99 yo Kissinger
give Putin Donbas

better then thousands of people dying and more destruction
of the country
risk of nucs
risk of famine
and endless quagmire

in mho
I don't think don't think  that by doing so will encourage  Putin to invade anywhere else anytime soon

his cost was very great
we made out point

he probably would like to get the heck out of this mess too
I am thinking






Crafty_Dog

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GPF: Moldova
« Reply #708 on: November 10, 2022, 08:00:31 AM »
Courting Moldova. U.S. and Moldovan officials held meetings this week to discuss military cooperation. Also this week, the U.S. Agency for International Development pledged to help Moldova overcome its energy crisis with a $30 million grant to cover electricity costs and $19.5 million for projects to strengthen energy security and reduce the country’s dependence on Russia. On Thursday, the European Union promised 250 million euros in assistance for Moldova's energy sector. Washington and Brussels are courting Moldova, a former Soviet state in which Moscow has interests, to keep it out of Russia's sphere of influence.

Crafty_Dog

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DougMacG

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Re: Complications of the Ukraine War
« Reply #710 on: November 11, 2022, 10:18:47 AM »
https://imprimis.hillsdale.edu/complications-of-the-ukraine-war/

Filled with important facts and analysis helpful to a better understanding, though I also found it to be very one sided.

A point we can all agree on:  "This is a war with no natural stopping point."

Left out I think, though I should read it again carefully:

1) Anything about Putin not being our moral equivalent,
2) That Putin's goal is to reconstitute the Soviet Union,
3) That NATO is a threat to Russia's expansion plans, not to it's borders known on maps.
4) Russia was rightful in taking back Crimea, 2014?  And credits Putin for doing it bloodlessly.  I disagree, but what about the atrocities of this war?
5) What do the people of Crimea and Eastern Ukraine provinces want?
Everyone seems to agree the "elections" of the provinces to join Russia were a sham.  Why so? If that's what the people want, with 'common language and culture', to live under tyranny and get conscripted for the next war, why pressure anyone or cheat in the vote?
6) Crediting the US for everything Ukraine has done to defend itself is a little overdone, IMHO.
7) Does a sovereign nation have a right to defend itself, including defense agreements?
8.) Where else around the world does that argument apply, that land, that base, used to be ours?
« Last Edit: November 11, 2022, 11:31:18 AM by DougMacG »

Crafty_Dog

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Russia-- Poland
« Reply #711 on: November 15, 2022, 12:08:27 PM »
November 15, 2022
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Ominous Explosions in Poland
Nothing has been confirmed, but some have blamed errant Russia rockets.
By: Geopolitical Futures
Days after a humiliating withdrawal from the city of Kherson, Russia launched a massive missile strike across Ukraine. There are widespread power outages in the country and likely multiple deaths, but the alarming news happened next door in Poland, where at least one missile may have landed, killing two people. All we know so far is that something caused a crater and damaged grain dryers on Tuesday afternoon near Przewodow, less than five miles from the Ukrainian border and about 40 miles north of Lviv, Ukraine.

Location of Apparent Strike

(click to enlarge)

Poland’s prime minister convened an emergency security meeting, according to a government spokesman, but he provided no reason for the meeting. No official sources in Poland, NATO, Ukraine or Russia have confirmed the attack, but an anonymous U.S. intelligence official told the AP that Russian missiles were to blame. (The Pentagon has said it could not corroborate the reports.) If it did occur, it would be the most serious moment in the nearly nine-month war because unlike Ukraine, Poland can invoke Article 5 of the NATO Treaty, obligating every other member to come to its defense.

Possible explanations for the incident include a deliberate Russian escalation intended to coerce the West into pressuring Ukraine to submit to Russian demands; an accidental strike by Russia; an accidental strike by (or debris from) a Ukrainian air defense system; or even something totally unrelated, such as a grain dust explosion, which occurs when an ignition source meets accumulated grain dust in a confined space.

All we can say for sure is Russia has not formally declared war on Poland or NATO, and the next move will certainly come from Warsaw and Washington. The U.S. commitment to avoiding a NATO-Russia war has not changed and likely will not change because of something that could be explained away as an accident. If Russian involvement is confirmed, Ukraine, Poland and some of its neighbors will surely demand a strong response. But the West has effectively exhausted its most significant sanctions options: Europe is not ready for a gas embargo, the oil price cap is proceeding but won’t be ready immediately and Hungary has obstructed other measures. The likely response, then, would probably involve an escalation of military support for Kyiv, to include Western-made aircraft and armor.

Crafty_Dog

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GPF: Russia- Europe
« Reply #712 on: November 21, 2022, 04:16:51 PM »

What sanctions? Western countries continue to import energy from Russia despite the tough sanctions they’ve imposed on Moscow. European traders are reportedly filling storage tanks with Russian diesel before an embargo on Russian oil products comes into force on Feb. 5. Diesel from Russia accounted for 44 percent of Europe’s total fuel imports in November, up from 39 percent in October. Meanwhile, The Sunday Times newspaper reports that at least 39 shipments of Russian oil (registered as deliveries from other countries) worth $237 million have arrived in the U.K. since the start of the war in Ukraine.

More fertilizer. Russia is increasing export quotas for certain types of nitrogen fertilizers. By the end of 2022, the quota for the export of urea will be increased by 400,000 tons, ammonium nitrate by 200,000 tons and carbamide-ammonia by 150,000 tons. Russia introduced quotas for the export of nitrogen and complex fertilizers on Dec. 1, 2021, to curb rises in food prices. It's now in the process of negotiating a deal to boost its fertilizer exports, which have slumped due to sanctions.

Crafty_Dog

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Why do some Ukes want to be part of Russia?
« Reply #713 on: November 22, 2022, 05:11:38 AM »

Crafty_Dog

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George Friedman: Poland- peace a bridge too far
« Reply #714 on: November 22, 2022, 06:05:52 AM »
November 22, 2022
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In Poland, Peace May Be a Bridge Too Far
By: George Friedman

Last weekend, I had the opportunity to speak to some Poles. I won’t pretend that they speak for the entire country, but my impression is that, broadly speaking, they believe a peace agreement with Russia would be a mistake. It is to be understood that many Polish people are both passionate about the subject of Russia and not directly militarily involved in the Ukraine war. Poland has provided some weapons and supplies, of course, and some Poles have chosen to enter the fight, but as a nation Poland is riveted by a war it is largely outside of.

Poland has two historic enemies: Germany and Russia. For more than a century, one (and sometimes both) threatened the country’s very existence. The German question was answered by World War II, but that conflict nonetheless resulted in Russian occupation, which lasted until the fall of the Soviet Union. Poland has thus been conditioned to distrust good fortune. The United States has guaranteed Poland’s security, placing increasing numbers of troops within its borders, yet the Poles are not at ease. Partly that’s because Washington has its own interests there, and history has taught Poland that those who do not attack you either betray you or let you down.

It’s unsurprising, then, that Poland was prepared to act in Ukraine at the outset of the conflict, and that it was disappointed when the Americans prevented them from doing so. (Washington didn’t want the war to spread anywhere else, and it didn’t want Moscow feeling more paranoid than it ordinarily does.) It’s also unsurprising that Poland doesn’t want a peace agreement. Warsaw sees this as a historic moment for Ukraine, and Kyiv’s supporters, including Poland, can use Russian weakness as an opportunity to break Russia militarily and secure Poland for generations to come. For them, the errant missile fire last week was a reminder of the threat Russia still poses.

In my opinion, this is neither militarily possible nor politically wise. The force committed to combat Russia is limited to Ukraine. The Ukrainian military has been fighting for its homeland – always a good motivator – and has been on the strategic defensive. The Russians have been on the offensive, which means their supply line is increasingly stretched and fragile as the army advances. More, extended offensive operations on multiple axes create command and control difficulties. Ukraine’s supply lines have been less stressed, and control of Ukrainian forces has thus been less strained but more effective. (This is to say nothing of the parallel U.S. supply lines.) As a result, the Ukrainians have paid a high price but have been rewarded. The Russians have paid a high price but with fewer rewards. Even then, the Russians have not been defeated. Moving into a strategic offensive posture will not yield the kinds of success Ukraine has had on the strategic defense. Attacking Russian forces in a defensive posture could readily lead to failure.

Poland may be willing to throw its military into the fray, but the Polish army is inexperienced and untested, and it depends on the United States for many critical supplies. Washington, for its part, is not interested in adopting an offensive posture. Its strategy is to keep Ukraine as a buffer zone between Russia and Europe – one designed to prevent a European war or even a new cold war. It therefore wants to avoid Russian occupation there without committing American forces to combat. If Ukrainian forces fail to hold their country, the U.S. has other military options, but Ukraine is absolutely its preferred first line of defense.

One option Washington does not have is to break the Russian army permanently. It simply lacks the resources and the will. The Russians have performed poorly in a foreign county, but it must be assumed they would fare better defending their home turf. Breaking Russia’s military demands deep penetration into Russia, and the U.S. is not going to use its military on an action that is likely to fail, let alone one that could trigger a nuclear scenario. (Not for nothing, an advance into Russia would be strategically faulty. If the attacking force were broken, a new westward thrust could work as it absorbs supplies and manpower.)

Politically, the invasion of Ukraine imposed costs on Russia, and though public opinion varies greatly, the people generally do not see the conflict as a necessary one. Attacking Russia would create political unity where there otherwise isn’t any, and the political goal should be to create dissonance. The current disagreement there has weakened Russia’s motivation to fight. Forcing Russians to fight outside the country will likely maintain that division, whereas taking the fight to Russia could have the opposite effect.

Forcing the Russians into an offensive posture has both military and political benefits. At a time when Russia appears internally fragmented and Ukraine is increasingly capable, the greatest danger is to assume that prior successes mean future success, a disease military success frequently causes.

If Moscow were forced into a peace treaty, the benefit to the West is political. A cease-fire raises questions about the prudence of the government and the competence of its military. Given that breaking the Russian army on the whole is a non-starter, a peace agreement creates a political force in Russia that must be allowed to mature. The risk of pursuing a broad victory is too high, much higher than the danger of peace. But President Vladimir Putin understands this equation too, so high-profile Russian losses inside Ukraine are key to his losing control.

DougMacG

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Re: Why do some Ukes want to be part of Russia?
« Reply #715 on: November 22, 2022, 06:48:40 AM »
Eight years ago:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0QGFZev_h7g

This (title of post) is what I want to know.  Didn't notice until after watching it was 8 years old.  I feel very sorry for these people, caught in a bad place.

One, she mentioned, was more open off camera.  They wish to be Russians but not Putin totalitarian subjects or conscripts.  They feel a distance with Kiev.  Some very anti-Europe.  No one wants war.  No good choices.

They know they can't speak freely (and didn't vote freely).

I wish disputed lands could just have autonomy and peace, trade freely with both sides, keep their land and their homes, but instead they are pawns in a larger war to be traded and captured.

It doesn't seem it is Ukraine's eastern provinces Russia wants.  Putin wants to trample those areas as part of a larger expansion scheme. IMHO.  Now, if this is failure for Putin, where is the off ramp that saves face.
« Last Edit: November 22, 2022, 06:53:54 AM by DougMacG »