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ded
Oct 27, 2005

Kooler than Jesus


beanieson posted:

Vlad the impaler


Putin it up your butt.

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quantumfoam
Dec 25, 2003



beanieson posted:

Vlad the impaler


Insert Putin Fulda gap joke here.

Trabisnikof
Dec 24, 2005

It's always 2am somewhere.


To be fair, the CIA/NSA have missed most major events (Fall of berlin wall, invasion of kuwait, 9/11, etc) so its not surprising that they also missed this poo poo too.

Whip Slagcheek
Sep 21, 2008

Finally
The Gasoline And Dynamite
Will Light The Sky
For The Night




It's almost as if world leaders aren't always rational actors that telegraph their moves.


But in honesty I don't know how anyone missed this, even assholes like us saw the writing on the wall for a Russian military intervention after the Olympics finished.

Mortabis
Jul 8, 2010


Whether we saw it coming or not, it doesn't seem like anyone's actually willing to do anything meaningful about it anyway. There are what, 12 people under sanctions now? Whatever will Putin do. He's not even one of them. As far as I can tell "sanctions" amounts to the same thing as sticking a "Free Tibet" bumper sticker on your car.

Casimir Radon
Aug 1, 2008




Mortabis posted:

As far as I can tell "sanctions" amounts to the same thing as sticking a "Free Tibet" bumper sticker on your car.
Except sanctions disrupt Putin's ability to meet national goals. If most outside investment into Russia gets cut off things are going to get a lot harder for everyone.

Fojar38
Sep 1, 2011


Sorry I meant to say I hope that the police use maximum force and kill or maim a bunch of innocent people, thus paving a way for a proletarian uprising and socialist utopia


also here's a stupid take
---------------------------->


If I recall it's actually causing concrete problems for much of the Russian population as well, since if they're with a Russian bank on the sanction list then their credit cards stop working.

Mortabis
Jul 8, 2010


Fojar38 posted:

If I recall it's actually causing concrete problems for much of the Russian population as well, since if they're with a Russian bank on the sanction list then their credit cards stop working.

I haven't seen anything about that but if it's true then obviously I'll revise my opinion. I'm just not convinced that sanctions against a handful of bigwigs matter much to anyone.

e: Okay, well then.

Godholio
Aug 28, 2002

Does a bear split in the woods near Zheleznogorsk?


Booblord Zagats posted:

A theory I've heard a lot from some of the people I know who work for NSA/DISA contractors is Snowden was probably getting paid in one for or another by the Russians from the very start. Since the whole thing is playing out like the old days where the Soviets would both disgrace the CIA, pitting it against its own population and disgracing it internationally while still obtaining the info they wanted.

If that's true, I'll loving drink to the audacity and flawless execution. Goddrat that would be impressive.

ded
Oct 27, 2005

Kooler than Jesus


Russia kicked out of the G8. Will this actually have any effect?

OMFG PTSD LOL PBUH
Sep 9, 2001


Godholio posted:

An LOR in the AF ends your career. As an officer, you will not get promoted again and you go right to the top of the list of the "guys to separate next round of force-shaping," just under the guys in jail/prison. As an E, you won't get promoted again and almost certainly will not be allowed to reenlist. You also get bumped up the separations list.

Now maybe.

I had at least 15 loving LOR's from one super retarded superintendent at one time. I'm guessing you mean the legit, signed by the commander, start a UIF type of LOR.

iyaayas01
Feb 19, 2010

Perry'd


Obama Africanus posted:

Now maybe.

I had at least 15 loving LOR's from one super retarded superintendent at one time. I'm guessing you mean the legit, signed by the commander, start a UIF type of LOR.

Yeah, there's "LORs" and then there's LORs .

Trabisnikof
Dec 24, 2005

It's always 2am somewhere.


Mortabis posted:

Whether we saw it coming or not, it doesn't seem like anyone's actually willing to do anything meaningful about it anyway. There are what, 12 people under sanctions now? Whatever will Putin do. He's not even one of them. As far as I can tell "sanctions" amounts to the same thing as sticking a "Free Tibet" bumper sticker on your car.

It's actually more like ~20 and a bank. The bank is the critical one, since overnight all the client's VISAs stopped working and its the real threat that we could economically destroy them without using a single weapon.

Snowdens Secret
Dec 29, 2008
Someone got you a obnoxiously racist av.


There's a lot of debate about the possible effectiveness of the targeted sanctions. I'm going to link it here because I'm not going into Debate Disco.

http://rt.com/politics/russian-duma-sanctions-crimea-594/

quote:

The State Duma has passed a motion suggesting that the US and EU extend the freshly introduced sanctions to all Russian MPs rather than a limited group of officials, defying western pressure just hours before Russia and Crimea signed a federation treaty.
...
In a speech MP Mikhail Markelov (Fair Russia) called the move by the US State Department, President Obama and the European Union “an absurd attempt”, and suggested that the US punished all lower house members. “As long as they stress that MP Lyudmila Mizulina is on the blacklist, they should also impose sanctions on all 436 MPs who voted for the law that protects our children from gay propaganda,” Markelov noted.
...
Deputy Markelov also said in his Duma speech that Russian politicians cannot be intimidated by Western sanctions as previous examples of their application demonstrate that such measures are hardly effective. “They tried it before in Serbia, Belarus, Syria. But these nations have not lost their dignity, have not lost their identity, they remain united and independent countries,” the deputy said.
...
Commenting on the parliamentary motion an Russian presidential aide Yuri Ushakov said that everyone in Russia was tired of sanctions adding that the western measures only caused irony or even sarcasm. He refused to answer the question if Russia planned any reciprocal steps.

There's a joke in there about if you let hipsters pick your president you end up with ironic diplomacy. And no, I don't get the 'gay propaganda' bit either.

The Serbia thing alludes to all the parallels Russia continues to draw between Crimea and the NATO Kosovo interventions, which even the West acknowledges wasn't actually legal.

From John Conryn:

quote:

In my view, our sanctions should also target Rosoboronexport, a state-owned Russian arms exporter that has been supplying the Assad regime and has become a Grand Central Station of corruption. (The Pentagon has inexplicably been buying Mi-17 helicopters from Rosoboronexport to supply the Afghan military, despite numerous alternative options.)

(There's a lot of weird poo poo with the Russians and Afghanistan right now but that's for another post)

There's no denying that the Russian economy has taken it in the shorts in the past few weeks, but it remains to be seen whether that hurts or possibly helps Putin, and it also remains to be seen if the US et al are effective or genuinely motivated at catching excessively laundered Russian funds.

Fojar38
Sep 1, 2011


Sorry I meant to say I hope that the police use maximum force and kill or maim a bunch of innocent people, thus paving a way for a proletarian uprising and socialist utopia


also here's a stupid take
---------------------------->


That is actually kind of worrying. Exactly how well can economic pressure work on a bunch of crazy motherfuckers? Obviously it would devastate a rational government filled with rational actors but these guys aren't exactly acting rationally.

Godholio
Aug 28, 2002

Does a bear split in the woods near Zheleznogorsk?


Oh really? How are coming to that conclusion? Because so far this seems to be working REALLY loving well.

Fojar38
Sep 1, 2011


Sorry I meant to say I hope that the police use maximum force and kill or maim a bunch of innocent people, thus paving a way for a proletarian uprising and socialist utopia


also here's a stupid take
---------------------------->


Godholio posted:

Oh really? How are coming to that conclusion? Because so far this seems to be working REALLY loving well.

Because the official Russian reaction so far has been "apply more sanctions motherfuckers." That isn't the conduct of a rational government, especially BECAUSE we know the sanctions are working. The rational thing to do would be to seek rapprochement with the west and do whatever you can to defuse the crisis, but instead they're doubling down on the neo-Stalinist pan-Eurasianism.

Casimir Radon
Aug 1, 2008




Godholio posted:

Oh really? How are coming to that conclusion? Because so far this seems to be working REALLY loving well.
If seems like they're just trying to save face at this point. If they're willing to stall everything else they have going on to save face that seems pretty loving stupid to me.

Snowdens Secret
Dec 29, 2008
Someone got you a obnoxiously racist av.


The whole sarcastic 'rational' thing implies that their end goal is some sort of peaceful West-style liberal mercantilism and that's seriously projecting.

psydude
Mar 31, 2008

Perry'd.


Putin's cronies only like him because they've been able to profit largely off of him. Banning them from traveling to the US is obviously not going to do poo poo, but freezing their assets and forcing them to onshore their holdings into an increasingly volatile domestic market might actually change some opinions.

Casimir Radon
Aug 1, 2008




psydude posted:

Putin's cronies only like him because they've been able to profit largely off of him. Banning them from traveling to the US is obviously not going to do poo poo, but freezing their assets and forcing them to onshore their holdings into an increasingly volatile domestic market might actually change some opinions.
Now if the EU would get on board with the travel ban that would be pretty masterful. Of course they can still travel to shitbag paradises like Dubai and Macau, but that's going to get boring after a while.

Asehujiko
Apr 6, 2011


Casimir Radon posted:

Now if the EU would get on board with the travel ban that would be pretty masterful. Of course they can still travel to shitbag paradises like Dubai and Macau, but that's going to get boring after a while.
The Netherlands specifically asked the EU to not sanction Putin himself because we "need" him for our PM's nuclear summit vanity project Gotta justify shutting down half the country for a week somehow.

OMFG PTSD LOL PBUH
Sep 9, 2001


Casimir Radon posted:

Now if the EU would get on board with the travel ban that would be pretty masterful. Of course they can still travel to shitbag paradises like Dubai and Macau, but that's going to get boring after a while.

You've clearly never been to Macau my friend.

Snowdens Secret
Dec 29, 2008
Someone got you a obnoxiously racist av.


Asehujiko posted:

The Netherlands specifically asked the EU to not sanction Putin himself because we "need" him for our PM's nuclear summit vanity project Gotta justify shutting down half the country for a week somehow.



NL's energy situation isn't nearly the mess that Germany's is but it's still strangely dependent on imports for a country that prides itself on self-sufficiency.



With the decline in output of the Groningen fields and other production, without significant changes to the industry / regulatory environment, NL is due to become a net importer of NG by 2025.



http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/energy/10719855/US-fires-warning-shot-at-Russia-with-gas-export-deal.html

This is obviously highly symbolic, as it'll take years (if ever) for the site to be ready for export. Nevertheless, while sanctions are a short-term diplomatic tool, long term EU (with US help, or not) needs to unfucker its energy situation if it wants to reduce Russian might.

Courthouse
Jul 23, 2013


The argument that cutting the gas will hurt Europe as much as it hurts Russia cuts both ways though. Can Russia really use the gas exports to retaliate if the EU and US decide to embargo other strategic trade, like financial transactions and vital machine parts, without crippling it's own economy and risking a spring revolution of it's own?

Snowdens Secret
Dec 29, 2008
Someone got you a obnoxiously racist av.


Like I've said, it's being debated. Remember that with natural resources like oil / NG, it is a perfectly valid and profitable tactic when demand drops (or you get sanctioned) to just leave it in the ground, and sell it later when prices (inevitably) come up for a higher price. The industries that depend on that energy (and the people who must cook food with it etc) are usually not so easily shut down and restarted. That's the OPEC modus operandi. That being said, Russia isn't yanking that chain hard just yet, and the sanctions are so far steering clear of gas production (although it would be amusing if Herr Schroeder gets slapped.)

Napkin math says that if Russia were to completely cut off the spigot, the EU has sufficient NG reserves to last about 90 days - this is a touch pessimistic, but like the chart in my last post shows, that's in no way evenly distributed throughout the Eurozone.

It feels nice to put these targeted sanctions on Russian oligarchs, but it's also worth noting that their money rarely stays in Russia - it flows very heavily back into Europe, especially London.

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/cristinaodone/100264733/once-the-toast-of-the-town-oligarchs-are-now-toast/

quote:

Britain, once the workshop of the world, has been selling respectability. Investor visas – just one hop away from citizenship – cost a mere £1 million (a self-respecting tycoon spends more than that on a birthday party). Libel lawyers deterred anyone from asking hard questions about where the oligarchs’ money came from or what their ulterior motives might be. Obliging bankers and accountants helped clients run rings round our money-laundering laws. Having an oligarch as owner, patron, or guest had the social cachet of attending one of Gatsby’s parties.

Everyone loved them. Schools like the one in Belgravia were able to charge £5,150.00 per term for a 3-year-old in nursery. Its headmaster was not alone in rubbing his hands in glee: Russian money was cascading down to ordinary people. We were all supposed to be grateful as it went into saving a football club, endowing a college or sponsoring a gallery.

The oligarch became everyone’s new best friend, an Establishment fixture who smiled from the pages of the glossies, and waved from the Ascot Royal Enclosure. Their extravagance, especially in a period of austerity, reassured: someone, at least, still believed in the UK economy. The billionaires dazzled with their Russian exuberance: an oligarch’s bash made Elton John’s look like a vicar’s tea party; an oligarch’s yacht made the Queen’s Britannia look like a tug boat.

Tightening the tourniquet on the oligarchs also staunches that flow.

China and India have also both either tacitly accepted Russia's actions or straight-up endorsed them, which leaves both as avenues not just for legal trade but also for money laundering / embargo avoidance, if it comes to that.

As far as a Russian Spring, at least officially, Putin is seeing record positive popularity numbers and has media control banana dictators can only dream of. Compared to your everyday tinpot dictator, Putin also has a lot more levers he can pull (including a full invasion of Ukraine) to shift public opinion if he needs to.

Snowdens Secret
Dec 29, 2008
Someone got you a obnoxiously racist av.


Making a new post because this is only part related:

When talking about the Russia stuff it's important not to overestimate the health and stability of Eurozone economy and politics. Growth is doodoo throught the zone and I've talked before about the disproportionate impact a negative change in energy supply could make when demand is inelastic.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/france/10719586/Far-Right-makes-makes-electoral-come-back-across-France.html

This article is mostly about the (terrifying) rise of Front National in France in this week's elections and how the Socialists got frapped hard, but it includes this bit:

quote:

Scrambling to contain the damage, the Socialists on Monday announced they would join forces with the Greens and the Communist Party in a bid to block any FN advances.

Needless to say if you're suddenly needing to aggressively develop an expansive energy policy to counterbalance an ascendant neo-Soviet empire, the last people you want to find yourself shackled to are the Greens and the Communists.

Waroduce
Aug 5, 2008


Snowdens Secret posted:

Making a new post because this is only part related:

When talking about the Russia stuff it's important not to overestimate the health and stability of Eurozone economy and politics. Growth is doodoo throught the zone and I've talked before about the disproportionate impact a negative change in energy supply could make when demand is inelastic.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/france/10719586/Far-Right-makes-makes-electoral-come-back-across-France.html

This article is mostly about the (terrifying) rise of Front National in France in this week's elections and how the Socialists got frapped hard, but it includes this bit:


Needless to say if you're suddenly needing to aggressively develop an expansive energy policy to counterbalance an ascendant neo-Soviet empire, the last people you want to find yourself shackled to are the Greens and the Communists.

Energy isn't something I know much about but thank you for your posts they are awesome and so are you

Job Creator
Apr 3, 2009



I was under the impression that from an ideological standpoint, Putin was more of a center-right nationalist type as opposed to aiming to resurrect the USSR.

Kung Fu Fist Fuck
Aug 9, 2009


the loving simpsons predicted this poo poo back in the 90s

LimburgLimbo
Feb 10, 2008

One day I will be happy
every day


Unsurprisingly, Ukraine's navy is utterly gutted now:

http://www.janes.com/article/35861/ukrainian-navy-decimated-by-russian-move-into-crimea

Best Friends
Nov 4, 2011



Anytime I see the word "decimated" applied to anything that is not roughly or exactly 1 in 10 I lose my poo poo. I am just screaming at the monitor right now. And everything else. And everyone else.

Update I'm single now.

orange juche
Mar 14, 2012





Best Friends posted:

Anytime I see the word "decimated" applied to anything that is not roughly or exactly 1 in 10 I lose my poo poo. I am just screaming at the monitor right now. And everything else. And everyone else.

Update I'm single now.

Would you say you are "literally shaking"?

Snowdens Secret
Dec 29, 2008
Someone got you a obnoxiously racist av.


I'm a little surprised some of those crews didn't scuttle their ships. It sounds like non-trivial chunks of the crews defected (or whatever word you want to use) to the Russian/Crimean side. Of course many of the ones that lived near the Crimean bases mentioned how the Russians now control their homes and their families, so I'm sure that was a motivator.

LimburgLimbo
Feb 10, 2008

One day I will be happy
every day


Considering how they lost so many air assets when that airbase was taken over, too, I'm rather surprised they didn't try to redistribute things to safe locations when it became clear that they weren't likely to hold on to Crimea.

Zeroisanumber
Oct 23, 2010



Nap Ghost

LimburgLimbo posted:

Considering how they lost so many air assets when that airbase was taken over, too, I'm rather surprised they didn't try to redistribute things to safe locations when it became clear that they weren't likely to hold on to Crimea.

I don't know how much of it was ready to get underway at a moments notice, or was even air/seaworthy. Remember that Ukraine is easily one of the most corrupt countries in Europe, that usually doesn't bode well for military preparedness.

Mr. Nice!
Oct 13, 2005



Don't forget that most of their ships were blockaded in port by the Russians at the start of the invasion as well.

NIGGER DEATH TURBO
Jul 4, 2013

by Lowtax


Zeroisanumber posted:

I don't know how much of it was ready to get underway at a moments notice, or was even air/seaworthy.

basically none of it

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles...1983371478.html

Courthouse
Jul 23, 2013



quote:

had to find a regional oligarch, Ihor Kolomoisky, to kick in the funds to buy

Oligarch funded armies, here we come!




BTW, does the Budapest Memorandum actually have any guarantees? People keep waving it around, but I don't actually see it saying anyone has to actually do something about any non-nuclear breaches. Is there something I'm missing, or is this just a nice piece of paper to wave at the Russians?

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iyaayas01
Feb 19, 2010

Perry'd


Courthouse posted:

BTW, does the Budapest Memorandum actually have any guarantees?

No. All it was was a promise for the five NPT approved nuclear powers (France and China agreed to the same conditions in a separate document) to refrain from doing mean stuff like invading or otherwise interfering with Ukraine in exchange for Ukraine giving up their nukes. The only thing that is required is to "consult" with one another if questions come up regarding those requirements, which the US and the UK have done.

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