Five Ways Russia Could Help China's Military Become Even Deadlier

Discussion in 'China' started by Ray, Aug 16, 2014.

  1. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    It is real unfortunate that the US is only cutting its nose to spite its face.

    Thanks to Obama's skewed foreign policy, the world is moving away from the US, and in the bargain, the US is only helping other centres of power to get stronger to the detriment of world peace.

    Russia was less aggressive in approach till the US assisted by the EU and NATO started its aggressive push to expand to the East.

    They spooked Russia and in turn, Russia retaliated, and both the West and Russia disturbed the world peace matrix.

    Now, with all these sanctions, Russia, requiring much needed money will use her technological and scientific base of her time test military industry and help China to pose a threat not only to the US but become a threat to the world.
     
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  3. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    How Obama Is Driving Russia and China Together

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    PRESIDENT BARACK Obama likes to say that America and the world have progressed beyond the unpleasantness of the nineteenth century and, for that matter, much of the rest of human history. He could not be more wrong. And as a result, he is well on the way to repeating some of history’s most dangerous mistakes.

    Few would think to compare Obama to Russia’s last czar, Nicholas II. Nevertheless, Emperor Nicholas II, like President Obama, thought of himself as a man of peace. A dedicated arms controller, he often called for a rules-based international order and insisted that Russia wanted peace to focus on its domestic priorities. Of course, Obama’s philosophy of governance and world outlook differ profoundly from those of this long-dead autocrat. Yet there is one disturbing assumption they appear to share in foreign affairs: the idea that as long as you do not want a war, you can pursue daring policies without risking conflict or even war.

    Consider Ukraine. In March, Obama said, “We are not going to be getting into a military excursion in Ukraine.” Nicholas II also declared that there would be no war between Russia and Japan on multiple occasions on the eve of their 1904–1905 conflict. How could there be a war if he did not want it, the czar said to his advisers, especially because he considered Japan far too small and weak to challenge the Russian Empire.

    While Nicholas II genuinely did not want war, he assumed that Russia could get away with almost whatever it wanted to do in the Far East. At first, Japan reluctantly acquiesced to Russian advances—but Tokyo soon began to warn of serious consequences. Overruling his wise advisers, Finance Minister Sergei Witte and Foreign Minister Vladimir Lamsdorf, the czar decided to stay the course. He saw Japan’s concessions as evidence that the “Macacas,” as he derisively called the Japanese, would not dare to challenge a great European power. When they did, the result was humiliation and a devastating blow to Russia’s global standing.

    From the outside, the Obama administration appears to be following a similar trajectory in its approach to Russia. Top officials seem to believe that short of using force, the United States can respond as it pleases to Moscow’s conduct in Ukraine without any real risks. At the same time, the administration has gone to great lengths to personalize the dispute by targeting Russian president Vladimir Putin’s associates and graphically describing Putin’s flaws and transgressions, including in State Department fact sheets. And even as it takes these measures, liberal hawks and neoconservatives are denouncing Obama as weak for not going further.

    The weakness is there, but the bellicose stances that Obama’s critics espouse are unlikely to deter Moscow and might even do the opposite. So far, the United States has fundamentally miscalculated in dealing with Russia. By indulging in bluff and bombast, it has created the worst of all worlds. It has stoked Russian militant nationalism, convinced Putin that the United States is weak and indecisive, and exposed the divisions within the West. These difficulties will only be compounded if the Obama administration yields fully to the incessant scoldings of those in Washington who are eager to start Cold War II, regardless of whether they are really prepared to fight it.

    Especially misleading is the sense that the Kremlin’s apparent steps back from the brink in late May are due to the success of U.S. policy. The easiest invasion to prevent is one that was never really intended; much evidence indicates that Putin well understood the great costs of a large-scale intervention in Ukraine and likely sought leverage rather than control, much less possession. But if U.S. policy makers and politicians decide that Washington and Brussels can return to business as usual by encouraging newly elected Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko to bring his country into NATO, dismiss Moscow’s concerns, and crush opposition in eastern and southern Ukraine, Putin’s resolve could grow, as it did in the case of Crimea.

    Moreover, efforts to isolate and punish Moscow will push it into seeking closer ties with China. Supplying Ukraine or the Baltics with a blank check would only encourage the kind of behavior that may cost them dearly if Russia disregards NATO’s red lines. The appropriate response to Russia is to consider how we can convince it to choose restraint and, when possible, cooperation. Such an approach must be based on an analytical assessment of how Russia defines its interests and objectives rather than the way American policy makers would define them in Moscow’s shoes. It will also require a combination of credible displays of force that appear distasteful to Obama and credible diplomacy that looks distasteful to his critics.

    In the Ukraine crisis, Obama should have kept all options open rather than publicly renouncing a military response or even meaningful military aid. And that possibility would have had to be communicated to Putin quietly but clearly, including through significant troop movements, as Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger did during the 1973 Yom Kippur War. America’s obligation to protect its allies includes a responsibility to avoid exposing them to unnecessary danger with actions that may tempt Russian leaders to demonstrate their toughness without deterring them in any real sense—a posture that could force the United States and NATO to choose between war and humiliation. An arrangement that can bring lasting results would require tact and diplomacy, vision and strength—all qualities that have been conspicuously lacking in the Obama administration.

    Obama’s impulse to personalize the dispute suggests that he has been personally offended by Putin. No doubt Russia’s president has a unique background and macho style that make it easy to portray him as the devil incarnate, particularly in Western media outlets that prize simple narratives over complex storytelling or analysis. What’s more, his political practices inside Russia are increasingly authoritarian and contemptuous of dissent. Though Putin publicly emphasizes the rule of law and campaigns against corruption, those close to him operate with virtual impunity, which encourages lower-level bureaucrats to ignore the Kremlin’s demands to stop corrupt behavior. Perhaps ironically, Putin’s general success in taming the oligarchs’ political ambitions has in practice further empowered the bureaucracy at the expense of civil society; the oligarchic media empires of the 1990s were far from objective, but did serve as a check on officials at all levels. The State Duma is dominated by the ruling United Russia party and all factions defer to the president on key issues.

    Internationally, the Russian government frequently pressures its neighbors to play by Moscow’s rules and does not hesitate to use energy exports as a political weapon. In Ukraine, Putin retracted his own misleading initial denials of a major Russian military role in Crimea. The Kremlin’s demands that Kiev’s interim government avoid using force against armed rebels because no country should employ the military against its own people rang hollow after Russia’s support for Bashar al-Assad’s brutal rule in Syria—not to mention Moscow’s own wars in Chechnya. Of course, the Obama administration, too, does not suffer from excessive consistency, first demanding that Ukraine’s Viktor Yanukovych refrain from using force against protesters and then voicing support as the new Kiev government did exactly that.

    But whatever one makes of Putin’s KGB background and his leadership style, it takes two to tango. And thus it is impossible to set aside Obama’s own origins as a civil-rights activist and community organizer whose passion animates an ends-justify-the-means attitude toward bending and exploiting the rules both domestically and internationally, as seen in the recent agreement for the release of Taliban captive Bowe Bergdahl. Unlike Ronald Reagan—another moralist president—Obama does not appear truly occupied with international affairs, which seem like an unwelcome distraction from his transformative domestic agenda. He is thus disengaged and uninterested in understanding the other side. When combined with three other contrasts with the Reagan administration—a weak foreign-policy team, defense cuts and reluctance to use force—this produces a pushy but casual and weak moralism. Obama appears to dismiss Chinese and Russian interests because their undemocratic governments by definition make their interests less legitimate, while he simultaneously looks reluctant to do what is necessary to implement his numerous red lines. As a result, rivals like Russia and China are more offended than deterred. At the same time, allies and friends question Obama’s resolve after decisions like the administration’s announced withdrawal from Afghanistan no matter what happens there.



    UNDERSTANDING THE Ukrainian crisis requires going beyond what is happening in that bitterly divided country to assess the complex politics of the post-Soviet region and the conflicting impulses on both sides. What worries the United States, the European Union, and their allies and friends is the question of, as the Economist put it, in its typically eloquent but superficial way, “Where is Globocop?” How will America’s inability to impose its will on a defiant Russia affect the West’s credibility in upholding the world order? During the Cold War, the United States was expected and able to protect NATO members and other key allies such as Japan, Israel and Saudi Arabia. Still, the realities of the rival Soviet bloc created objective constraints on how far Washington policy makers were prepared to go and enforced intellectual discipline in their decision making. During the post–Cold War years, the United States and its allies gradually concluded that they could act as masters of the world without meaningful opposition from another great power. They reached this view by trial and error, starting with the fully justified and remarkably easy Gulf War and continuing with (for America and NATO) bloodless victories in the Balkans and later setbacks in Iraq and Afghanistan. Since no other great power sought crises in the latter two countries, neither of these disappointments became an outright defeat like what transpired in Vietnam—though they have fueled a new reluctance to use military power among President Obama and many Americans across the political spectrum.

    America’s professional military force—and NATO allies’ willingness to stand tall behind a U.S. shield without spending much on their own capabilities—facilitated this new conventional wisdom. Washington and Brussels forged themselves into a new “international community” that felt entitled and able to act on behalf of all humanity without special effort to assess humanity’s preferences in advance or reactions afterward. The expansion of NATO and the European Union to include especially pro-American and anti-Russian new members from the former Soviet bloc contributed to a spirit of transatlantic solidarity and missionary zeal unprecedented since the immediate post–World War II period. But unlike the transatlanticism of the 1940s and 1950s, this version came with a sense of entitlement and impunity founded on the unexpectedly easy victory by forfeit in the Cold War and the apparent absence of a serious geopolitical rival.

    In reality, of course, precisely as this mind-set took firm hold among American and European elites, the world was changing. For much of this period, Beijing was generally willing to acquiesce to U.S. and European international conduct. Over time, however, China began to establish itself as an emerging great power and to act accordingly. Chinese leaders share many of their Russian counterparts’ reservations about assertive Western global hegemony and democracy promotion, and they have become increasingly comfortable acting on them—including in concert with Moscow, as was most clear in the UN Security Council deliberations over Syria.

    At the same time, Russia recovered from its post-Soviet collapse and the disastrous, radical economic reforms of the 1990s to become a resurgent power. While Russia is still primarily a regional power, its size and geography make that region a very substantial one. Moreover, the asymmetries between Russia and most of its neighbors make it a power they ignore at their peril. Finally, Russia’s modernized strategic nuclear forces gave Putin and his colleagues the sense that no one would dare to treat Russia like Yugoslavia or Iraq.

    Russia’s annexation of Crimea and its threat to the rest of Ukraine thus challenged two decades of experience. Moscow’s new assertiveness triggered memories of the Cold War and prompted righteous indignation in the United States and Europe, where many reacted angrily to the idea that a former KGB officer and his lieutenants could threaten their self-evidently virtuous liberal world order. Moscow had a different perspective, of course, born of escalating resentment of the way in which the West defined and enforced the rules, perhaps most notably in NATO’s interventions in Bosnia and Kosovo and the West’s support for Kosovo’s independence. Notwithstanding Polish foreign minister Radoslaw Sikorski’s statement that Russia’s annexation of Crimea was the first time since World War II that someone “has taken a province by force from another European country,” the first occasion was actually NATO’s removal of Kosovo from then-democratic Serbia, despite a UN Security Council resolution and eight years as a NATO protectorate that removed any humanitarian threat to the Kosovars. Because of events like this, Kremlin officials increasingly saw U.S. and European proclamations about international law through the lens of the enduring Russian proverb that rules are for servants, not masters. At the same time, they were angered that after assurances that NATO enlargement would make Russia more secure, the alliance’s new members seemed to make NATO only more hostile toward Russia. After several years of rapid economic growth and increases in military spending, Moscow saw itself as a master capable of enforcing its will—at least along its own frontiers.

    Meanwhile, focused on domestic politics and entranced by post–Cold War triumphalism, America’s political elites worked assertively to short-circuit debate and to marginalize anyone who questioned their international assumptions. The end result was a foreign policy in which, as George F. Kennan described it, “a given statement or action will be rated as a triumph in Washington if it is applauded at home in those particular domestic circles at which it is aimed, even if it is quite ineffective or even self-defeating in its external effects.” Publics in America—and Europe—were also proud of their international successes and were thus prepared to accept their governments’ activism so long as it worked and so long as continued prosperity made it cheap. Now, however, they are much less willing to support interventionist policies, meaning that out-of-touch elites will likely lack the political support to finish what they might succeed in starting.



    WHAT THE triumphalists failed, and continue to fail, to recognize is how little is truly new in world politics. This is not the first time that a dominant alliance has claimed exceptional virtue and exceptional prerogatives. Quite the contrary. During the early nineteenth century, for example, the Holy Alliance made some of the same arguments in outlining its obligations to protect the kings and princes of Europe. Claiming divine virtue and superior political systems, its proponents acted with no less moral conviction or entitlement than today’s Western democracy promoters.

    Of course, the combination of human nature and democratic politics virtually assures that while promoting universal values, powerful nations and alliances also take care of their interests—and see their opponents’ interests and perspectives as inherently inferior. In fact, in proclaiming a unipolar world and making himself a global democracy enforcer, former president George W. Bush briefly went even further than Russia’s Czar Nicholas I, who won fame as the “gendarme of Europe” for making the Continent safe for autocracy.

    Statesmen like Otto von Bismarck and Benjamin Disraeli ruthlessly advanced what they saw as their nations’ true interests while coldly appraising their rivals’ aims and views. As the German author Emil Ludwig wrote, what most repelled the Iron Chancellor in dealing with Russia was “that country’s bold claim to equality of right—a claim he has never been able to endure, whether in politics, family life, or ministerial councils.” Despite this, Bismarck understood that Russia was a major factor in European politics and one that Prussia’s kings had to live with—and could even find useful to advance their core interests, including in unifying Germany. Today’s Western leaders, however, are more preoccupied with short-term political fortunes than strategic national interests.

    Nowhere is this clearer than in America’s relations with Russia. The swing from euphoria over the fall of the Berlin Wall to noisy calls for a new cold war provides a sobering reminder of the superficiality of American analysis of Russia’s motives and goals. Instead of responding emotionally to Russian actions, the United States should adopt a more calculating approach toward Moscow. One fundamental mistake that those thirsting for a cold war are making is to assume that Putin has a grand master plan for re-creating the Soviet empire. Putin’s long-term desire to enhance Russia’s power and influence is clear—and he has not hesitated to act on it in the current crisis over Ukraine. Yet, he has also sought partnership with the West at times and clearly hopes—correctly or incorrectly— that Russia’s annexation of Crimea does not foreclose future engagement.

    Indeed, looked at from a historical perspective, Moscow’s conduct does not suggest a crusade to rebuild the Soviet Union. Yes, Putin has said that he considers the collapse of the USSR to be a terrible tragedy, and he clearly seeks a greater political, security and economic role for his country in the post-Soviet region. But consider this: until the crisis in Ukraine, Moscow used force against a neighboring state only one time, in 2008, after Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili first ordered attacks on Russian peacekeepers in South Ossetia. Before that, Abkhazia and South Ossetia had been largely under de facto Russian control for years. Despite the fact that both are contiguous to Russia’s territory and reliant on Russian subsidies to survive economically, the Kremlin did not choose to integrate them into Russia.

    Then there is Ukraine. Russia’s annexation of Crimea was not predetermined and resulted from a complex and multidimensional process. There is no evidence that Putin would have tried to take over Crimea without the combination of humiliating defeat and political opportunity that Obama and his EU associates presented to him after their Ukrainian political protégés drove former president Viktor Yanukovych from office without quite following the parliamentary procedures required to impeach him under the country’s constitution. The result was regime change, which is not a rules-based policy, especially when it assertively extends the West’s—let’s be honest about it—sphere of influence to the single most strategically, economically, historically and emotionally significant area on Russia’s borders. After contributing to the Crimean fiasco, it is little wonder the president sounds so defensive.



    IF THE United States and the European Union want to prevent Putin from taking further action, they must be clear-eyed about the policies that can produce results at an acceptable cost. Targeted sanctions against Putin’s inner circle and other Russian officials and politicians—some of whom appear to have been sanctioned for reasons unrelated to Ukraine—will not change Russian policy. Their impact is too limited, and, unlike their counterparts in Ukraine, Russian tycoons do not have political influence or control members of the legislature. Moreover, Putin can compensate them for any losses even as his security apparatus watches them for signs of weakness under foreign pressure.

    Further U.S. and EU sanctions could have a severe impact on Russia’s economy. However, Americans should understand that both Kremlin officials and Russia’s citizens would see crippling “sectoral” sanctions against Russia’s financial institutions or energy companies as acts of economic warfare. Such sanctions would not only impose costs on our own side—particularly the Europeans, and Germany most of all—but also encourage the Russian government to treat the United States and its allies as enemies rather than superiors. History provides scant evidence to suggest that Moscow would change course; far-reaching sanctions have not changed policy in Cuba, North Korea or Iran. Likewise, the U.S. oil embargo targeted against Japan before World War II did not contain the crisis—it accelerated it. Putin is supported by a political consensus that submission is no longer a sustainable foreign-policy option.

    Moreover, when one hears U.S. officials and members of Congress declare that sanctions have brought Iran to its knees, it is hard to know whether to laugh or cry. Iran has not abandoned enrichment, stopped developing long-range missiles or ceased assistance to Syrian president Bashar al-Assad. Russia is economically much stronger than previous sanctions targets such as Iran, and as of this writing, some 86 percent of the population supports Putin, at least for now, and many on the Internet claim that if anything, Putin is the accommodationist.

    Launching economic war against Russia would mean entering uncharted territory. Moscow would have no shortage of options, and many are already under discussion publicly and privately. First, Russia might start cooperating with anti-Western movements from Afghanistan to the Middle East, Africa and Latin America. The list of such governments and groups interested in Russian assistance would be long and imposing. According to Mikhail Gorbachev’s adviser Alexander Yakovlev, when the U.S.-Soviet relationship reached a crisis level in 1983–1984, former Soviet leader Yuri Andropov ordered considerable expansion of the USSR’s support for terrorism, something that contributed to the dramatic hostage takings in Lebanon.

    Among plausible recipients of Russia’s sophisticated weapons might be Iran, which is currently suing Russia for failing to fulfill its obligation to supply S-300 antiaircraft missiles. Russia suspended delivery of these weapons at the urging of the Israeli government, which it considers friendly. If it chose, however, Moscow could bypass the more moderate government of Hassan Rouhani and offer expedited delivery of the S-300 systems, or the more advanced S-400, directly to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. Israel might want to attack Iran’s nuclear installations before the missiles arrived—something that could trigger a war in the Gulf, attacks on American targets, oil and gas supply disruptions, and huge increases in energy prices. Russian officials may expect that this would improve the Kremlin’s bargaining position vis-à-vis the West, especially Europe. Avoiding concessions to Moscow might mean making them to Tehran, possibly at Israel’s expense. Which is less palatable?

    The Obama administration should also be much more careful about its message to Ukraine’s government. Visible U.S. support is important, but Washington must avoid providing officials in Kiev with the same false sense of support that facilitated Saakashvili’s ruinous confrontation with Moscow.

    An escalating dispute in Ukraine could not but affect already-struggling European economies. Investor confidence could become especially shaky in the Baltic states, where Moscow could exploit any economic slowdown to mobilize significant and poorly integrated ethnic Russian communities in Estonia and Latvia to destabilize governments. Latvia’s capital, Riga, already has an ethnic Russian elected mayor who openly favors a closer relationship with Moscow.

    Some will argue that Moscow would not risk this with NATO members. But notwithstanding President Obama’s references to Russia’s weakness, Russia has an impressive superiority in conventional forces vis-à-vis Ukraine and in Central Europe and a roughly ten-to-one superiority in tactical nuclear weapons, of which it has an estimated two thousand, compared to about two hundred deployed in Europe for the United States. Russian military planners consider tactical nuclear weapons an important component in the overall balance of forces and are preparing integrated war plans that include nuclear options. Even more dangerous, Russian generals might assume that NATO would recognize this imbalance and would therefore not dare to escalate.

    Finally, while Russia may have limited options to impose direct economic harm on the United States, Americans should recognize that attempting to use U.S. dominance in the international financial system as an instrument against another major power will encourage not only Moscow but also other nations to see the American-centered global financial system as a threat. This could put new momentum behind existing efforts to weaken America’s international financial role and might even prompt some to seek to undermine the global financial system as we know it today. Since that system is a key source of U.S. strength and prosperity, Obama administration officials should think twice before weaponizing international finance. New reports suggest that Russian companies are already exploring nondollar settlements with Chinese firms; even if modest, this could open a Pandora’s box.



    THESE OMINOUS possibilities are far from inevitable. Putin and his associates would have to consider huge potential costs to Russia—and to their personal fates—before upping the ante with NATO. Nevertheless, these dire scenarios are not fantasy. What is remarkable is that few in the U.S. executive branch or Congress are paying the slightest attention.

    It is not merely intellectually inconsistent but also peculiar that the same officials and commentators who view Putin as an evil genius also expect him to accept Western punishment with a combination of easily dismissed bluster and toothless symmetrical action. Likewise, it may be politically convenient to ignore the very real possibility of Russia drawing closer to China, but it is strategically reckless. By any logical criteria, American leaders should see China rather than Russia as their greatest challenge.

    China is both more central to the world economy and more integrated into the world economy than Russia. Despite its assertive conduct, Beijing is not seeking conflict with the United States. Like Russia’s leaders, however, Chinese officials see Washington as bent on containment and a potentially dangerous democracy-promotion policy. This is an important confluence of interests between China and Russia that U.S. leaders must consider. The post–Cold War world is over and a new world is emerging.

    Of course, there are big differences in interests between Russia and China—and each has enduring grievances against the other. No less important, China’s nominal GDP is roughly four times the size of Russia’s, and it is much more connected to the U.S. economy. Thus, under normal circumstances, Beijing and Moscow feel that they need Washington, particularly when it acts in concert with Brussels, more than they need each other. But are today’s circumstances still normal? If both governments believe they face dangerous pressure, each may see the other as a natural partner in balancing against the West. New public U.S. cyberespionage charges against Beijing may further sway China toward Moscow.

    While China abstained from voting on the resolutions concerning Crimea in the UN Security Council and the UN General Assembly, it was still pretty clear where Beijing’s sympathies rested. China is reluctant to support Russian positions openly, especially in view of its own separatism concerns. Despite this, China does not approve at all of the way the United States and the European Union have handled the Ukraine situation. The Ukraine crisis will push Russia and China closer, but exactly how much closer depends on U.S. and EU policies. At a minimum, they have much that unites them, including difficulties with their immediate neighbors, each of which are supported by the United States. Putin and Chinese president Xi Jinping signed a major natural-gas agreement as well as an unreported foreign-policy coordination agreement during their May 2014 meeting; though neither may live up to Moscow’s hopes, U.S. and European officials will take grave risks if they ignore or minimize the Sino-Russian relationship. From time immemorial, efforts to isolate a major power without defeating it have generally led to international realignments and new alliances—and whatever Obama may think, the present century is unlikely to differ from the previous five millennia of recorded history. A contest between two revisionist coalitions—the hegemonic West and a rising China–resurgent Russia alignment—could be explosive.

    In this context, it is useful to remember how Bismarck won an informal alliance with Russia by supporting Czar Alexander II against England and particularly France during an 1863 rebellion in Poland. Alexander II warned Napoleon III that continued French support for the insurrection would force him to abandon his alliance with France. Facing public pressure, Napoleon III ignored this warning. Seven years later, Prussia crushed France, Napoleon III lost power and a unified Germany was born—in no small part because Bismarck persuaded Alexander II to remain on the sidelines. China may not have a Bismarck, but Beijing could become increasingly bold in pursuing its geopolitical ambitions with tacit Russian support.



    BY ALL appearances, Putin does not want (with or without Western sanctions) to invade Ukraine and accept the enormous costs of absorbing all or part of it even if some rhetoric clearly could be viewed as a threat to Kiev and encouragement to pro-Russian elements. Since the United States and European Union are likewise unprepared to fight to reverse the annexation of Crimea, the current standoff may remain under control for the time being. What we need to understand, however, is that Ukraine is today’s equivalent of both the Balkans and the Middle East of the Sykes-Picot era—an artificially divided land, assembled by Soviet Communist leaders on the basis of arbitrary borders. It includes people who speak different languages, have different religions, belong to different cultures and even civilizations, and have rather different aspirations.

    The combination of contrasting historical narratives and an explosive political and demographic mix in Ukraine requires a lasting solution. This should include a unified federal Ukraine with meaningful autonomy for its regions and the right to select its own direction, though Kiev would not be able to enter NATO in the foreseeable future. With a modicum of goodwill and common sense, plus a genuine desire on all sides for a mutually acceptable solution, this is almost certainly within reach. The alternative is for Ukraine to lurch from one crisis to the next, never quite knowing exactly which specific event might trigger a full-scale confrontation between NATO and Russia in which military leaders on both sides would demand immediate and drastic measures to avoid being hit first.

    One more look at the past is thus in order: Europeans were relieved when Austria’s 1908 annexation of Bosnia did not lead to war because Russia was still weak after its disastrous conflict with Japan and chose to retreat. New crises flared up in the Balkans over the next few years, but ended without general conflagration. Unfortunately, the brief periods between crises were misleading pauses in an ongoing struggle rather than times of peace. Like today, the forces at work extended far beyond the narrow disputes that erupted in the Balkans and elsewhere and few connected the dots—including to the second Morocco crisis in 1911, when Russia opted to support France after Paris promised loans that Berlin refused. As before World War I, there is much more than one point of friction that could produce a devastating conflict.

    This drawn-out prelude to war gave Russia an opportunity to strengthen its military and build an alliance with its traditional nemesis, England. By the time of Austrian archduke Franz Ferdinand’s assassination in June 1914, the Russian Empire was prepared to stand its ground. The assassination was the catalyst for war, not the cause.

    To the last moment, Nicholas II and Germany’s Kaiser Wilhelm each thought that he could avoid war. When that moment came, however, Helmuth von Moltke, chief of Germany’s General Staff, persuaded the kaiser that Berlin had no choice but to order full and immediate mobilization—something Graham Allison recently described in The National Interest. Meanwhile, Russia’s military leaders persuaded a reluctant Nicholas II to take a similar decision, as otherwise the Germans—with their superior railroad network—could mobilize and attack first. As they say, the rest is history.

    How Obama Is Driving Russia and China Together | The National Interest
     
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  4. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    The National Interest (TNI) is an American bi-monthly international affairs magazine published by the Center for the National Interest. It is associated with the realist school of foreign policy thought. It was founded in 1985 by Irving Kristol and until 2001 was edited by Anglo-Australian Owen Harries. The National Interest is not restricted in content to "foreign policy" in the narrow, technical sense but attempts to pay attention to broad ideas and the way in which cultural and social differences, technological innovations, history, and religion impact the behavior of states.

    The National Interest - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
     
  5. Compersion

    Compersion Senior Member Senior Member

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    The 1970s will have a shadow on Russia and PRC relationship always and the subsequent Military copy and pasting without due regard.

    The current structures are a alignment of conveniences to try and imply there is a alternative economic playground. Would Russia prefer to have a more cordial relationship with Western powers compared to a more cordial relationship with PRC ... Does Russia trust PRC compared to Russia wanting economics of convergence with Europe and Western Powers. The PRC is built up on external western power economics at this moment.

    India "respects" Russia even when getting cordial with others and that ought to be looked favorably.
     
  6. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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  7. s002wjh

    s002wjh Senior Member Senior Member

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    we didn't annex crimea, we didn't send troop into ukrine or supply weapon to ukrine, ukrine THEMSELF want to join NATO, Ukrine themself oust the russian friendly president, we didn't force them. who invade georgia in 2008, certainly not US.
     
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  8. roma

    roma NRI in Europe Senior Member

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    I agree with all your comments above.
    In addition allow me to add that the term "strength" in this context is actually relative strength - so if India had developed even gradually all along the way this so-called adjective of deadly
    might not have had to have been used .

    We foiled the relationship with the usa right from the beginning with our first PM's unrealistic non-aligned dream
    From there on it went worse .

    Add to that the kind of management that took approximately 10 years to formulate a MMRCA tender and award.
    And even after the 10-year-wait for the award it has still failed to proceed with the delivery - the project is still an abstract affair without any manifestation so far of the goods taking physical form.

    If only we had even the semblance of management at our leadership levels .
    Then there would really have been little need to use descriptions such a deadly
    Nothing great or magical about China's ability - and obviously not to be feared
    Just that we've never had any semblance of even primitive management for the last 60 years
    with some tiny exceptions

    Now with Modi there might be a sliver of a chance that all that might begin to change
    He is making notable changes and improvements
    For one thing he got rid of the ridiculous idea of a one-man-show "planning commission"
    and replaced it with a think-tank, besides other paradigm improvements .

    Compared to china we might be arriving late -
    I don't think it will be too late at all - but i do think we will have to be patient,
    .... perhaps very patient
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2014
  9. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    I have a few things to say about your points:

    • Regarding the annexation of Crimea, yes, the Russian Federation annexed Crimea, after, Crimea declared independence from Ukraine, and had formally requested the Russian Federation to annex them pursuant to an overwhelmingly popular referendum. This popular referendum part is conveniently forgotten by those that preach democracy while bombing people to death all over the world.
    • Ukraine did not send troops into Crimea, and neither did Russia. There were Russian Naval Troops already stationed there, and legally, the Russian Federation had the right to station up to 25,000 troops there. At no point, between the ouster of Viktor Yanukovich and the Crimean referendum, did the total number of Russian troops in Crimea exceed 25,000.
    • Ukraine did not want to join NATO. Their coup installed leaders perhaps do. Every single poll in Ukraine, since 1991, showed that majority of Ukrainians had no desire to be part of NATO. The west continues to say that Ukraine should be free to decide to join NATO but forget to remind themselves that Ukrainians have already made their decision clear, that they do not wish to be part of NATO.
    • Ukraine did not oust the allegedly Russia friendly President. Putin wanted Yulia Tymoshenko to win, and not Yanukovich, because, when she was the PM, Russia and Ukraine had managed to work out arrangements that were mutually beneficial. Secondly, Yanukovich was ousted by a violent Nazi-Fascist minority, not by the majority of Ukrainians, and these violent groups were nurtured and funded by the National Endowment for Democracy. Even during the month long protest, the protesters were funded directly by the US Embassy in Kiev. So, it is true that the US ousted Yanukovich, and not the people of Ukraine, in the sense, the people protesting or tossing Molotov cocktails in Kiev do not represent the majority of Ukrainians. The majority of Ukrainains had already made their decision clear, when Yanukovich was elected.
    • Regarding invasion of Georgia, nobody invaded Georgia. Georgia invaded the autonomous regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, which are not Georgian territories, but simply happened to be part of the Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic for administrative reasons, and when Georgia became independent, these autonomous regions automatically became part of Georgia, and were not allowed the privilege of self determination, which Georgia itself exercised. When Georgia invaded these regions, mainly South Ossetia, the Russian Federation came to their rescue, and retaliated to the Georgian invasion.
     
  10. jon88

    jon88 Regular Member

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    The National Interest has always been a war mongering entity.

    Warmongers of the Western World | The Irish Republic

    However, they have some very interesting and addictive articles.
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2014
  11. s002wjh

    s002wjh Senior Member Senior Member

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    Ukraine’s parliament votes to oust president thats for sure, no way to twist that from black to white

    the rest, well thats pretty much from a russian perspective, not view from majority of countries. south ossetia was part of georgia even if its autonomous, just like all the autonomous region is part if china/india. if any nation allow an autonomous region separate, well china/india and many other nations would be split up by now. Even here in the US the federal wont allow a state to become independent.
    even china dont agree with russia back in 2008, cause china face similar separatists issue in tibet/xinjain.
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2014
    HMS Astute and asianobserve like this.
  12. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    Sorry, you are misinformed.

    According to the Ukrainian constitution, the constitutional court had to uphold the impeachment. You are probably not aware, that constitutional court was disbanded by those that seized power. There is no way to twist that from black and white.

    The lawmakers were threatened by a Kalashnikov wielding thug. Pictures have been posted long time back. Again, there is no way to twist that from black and white.

    I recommend you spend some time going through the Ukraine threads, so that we don't have to go around in circles.


    The thread is here: http://defenceforumindia.com/forum/europe-russia/61895-civil-war-ukraine.html

    1. Read the first post.
    2. Read the thread referenced in the first post.
    3. Read the thread.

    Wrong. Read my post again.
    Separatism in PRC is your problem, not mine.
     
    kseeker likes this.
  13. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    How many countries?

    And how is it the majority in this world of 195 countries. Although Taiwan operates as an independent country, many countries (including the U.S.) do not officially recognize it as one?

    Glib and sweeping statements are not for sure facts.

    They are merely your delusional state of mind.

    India does not have autonomous regions.

    China has, but that is only for deluding the world when it is actually CCP and China controlled.

     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2014
  14. Sam Manekshaw

    Sam Manekshaw Regular Member

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    Non-alignment policy was good and we have developed by our own. Friendship will be at par level with USA we don't want to be their gun in Asia. Look what happened to the existing gun right across our border.
     
  15. J20!

    J20! Senior Member Senior Member

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    This US narrative propagated by mainstream media that the "Ukranian people" toppled the Yanukovich govt is complete propaganda. The state department and various political entities within the US gov were so involved in the coup at so many different levels that its incredible how any well informed individual would believe it. Even the "I am a Ukranian" youtube video that was trending at the time of the revolution was found to have originated from Bob Diamond, INSIDE THE US STATE DEPARTMENT.

    I wont even mention the Neo-Nazi element that was nutured and funded by the US government, which was mainly responsible for the violent ouster of the ELECTED UKRAINIAN govt.

    US govt foreign policy is completely to blame for the current civil war and the resulting humanitarian crisis in Ukraine. As responsible as it is for the humanitarian and security situations in Lybia, Iraq, Afghanistan etc etc where it's intelligence agencies and security apparatus has been initiating regime change to suit their foreign policy interests.

    Any diplomatic and security alignment between Russia and China resulting from the geopolitical tensions resutling from US daliances in Ukraine and elsewhere can only be blamed on the instigator.
     
  16. roma

    roma NRI in Europe Senior Member

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    1. when taking the overall view after 60 or so years - yes you are approximately correct about it
    Being so call non aligned - forced us to be self reliant When talking of alignment i must make it clear , i am not talking about becoming someones poodle as you feel has happened across the border . That would be because neither was their management as good as it should have been . If we study management , there are degree of closeness in any relationship - it does not have to be an all or nothing affair . eg Look at China - that is a far better example of how to handle intentional relationships or otherwise called alignments .

    2. But the cost of non alignment especially the first 25 or so years of Independence was so high that it was
    in terms of management to be considered a Disaster. Thankfully most of the nation has recovered from that disaster
    but in certain matters - ie

    (a) the loss of parts of Kashmir .- and

    (b) the unnecessarily super -slow development of our nation because of horrendously careless attitude
    towards the USA and other fonts of technology and support makes that non alignment policy a matter of
    pride for those families that were already well off - they could boast about India's self-reliance

    (c) But what about the poor - they had to go through decades of self reliance on their poverty ?
    Sorry - it wasn't so prideful for them - 6 decades of poverty and still not delivered.

    3. China wasn't particularly fantastic but they did raise most of their people out of it in a much shorter time
    right from the very start - they managed their their alignments much better than us

    4. The reason for noticing the difference between china and us is not to praise them
    but to hope that we can improve at least for the future .
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2014
  17. s002wjh

    s002wjh Senior Member Senior Member

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    sure whatever you say, ALL the media said Ukrain paraliament oust president except russia and you. clearly your opinion is better than ALL the other countries:rolleyes:

    you do know i am american, so how does tibet/xinjain are my problem
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2014
  18. s002wjh

    s002wjh Senior Member Senior Member

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    Ray we all know you hate china, we can drag on this. just google how many countries has autonomous region

    and yes india has autonomous region. are you indian?
     
  19. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    I don;t hate China, Don;t get delusional.

    I dislike Communists and that is all.

    I am also in wonderment how people can be robotic under mind control and happy with crumbs thrown their way.

    No, I am not an Indian, if that pleases you. I am a free man with Indian nationality and not a robot in China.

    Which areas are autonomous in India that you claim.

    Educate me.
     
  20. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    Not an opinion, but a fact. Which part of "spend some time going through the Ukraine threads," do you need help understanding?

    You are most likely Chinese.
     
  21. prohumanity

    prohumanity Regular Member

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    Roma, India chose freedom, self respect and independent foreign policy and refused to be a slave nation to the West. Pakistan and Phillipines chose to be slave nations and do you think they have developed materially more than India ? You are parroting western propaganda that nations who obey us get rich quickly.
    In late 70s/early 1980s, the same paid western Economists were issueing dire warnings that half of India's population will die due to lack of food by year 2000.(I was a school student then and got scared) Then, there was green revolution ,followed by white revolution and that false warning turned out totally stupid. What if India became subservient to West and ended up like their most allied of allies ,Pakistan. If you have an Indian background, you will know that bread and lentil with self respect is better than bread and butter with slavery and subjugation. Sacrificing core values just for more material confort is a total western idea and mentality. India is doing fine and will do very well, just wait and see. I believe it is better to be somewhat less rich and free ,then, to be more rich licking someone's a*ss.
     

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