Biden says Russia will invade Ukraine.

1
U.S. President Joe Biden predicted on Wednesday that Russia will make a move on Ukraine, saying Russia would pay dearly for a full-scale invasion but suggesting there could be a lower cost for a "minor incursion."

Biden's comments at a White House news conference injected uncertainty into how the West would respond should Russian President Vladimir Putin order an invasion of Ukraine, prompting the White House later to seek to clarify what Biden meant.

"My guess is he will move in," Biden said of Putin at a news conference. "He has to do something."

"Russia will be held accountable if it invades - and it depends on what it does. It's one thing if it's a minor incursion and we end up having to fight about what to do and what to not do, et cetera," Biden said. "But if they actually do what they're capable of doing ... it is going to be a disaster for Russia if they further invade Ukraine."

Russian officials have repeatedly denied planning to invade, but the Kremlin has massed some 100,000 troops near Ukraine's borders, a buildup the West says is preparation for a war to prevent Ukraine from ever joining the NATO Western security alliance.

Shortly after the nearly two-hour news conference ended, the White House stressed any Russian military move into Ukraine would elicit a tough response.

"If any Russian military forces move across the Ukrainian border, that's a renewed invasion, and it will be met with a swift, severe, and united response from the United States and our allies," said White House press secretary Jen Psaki.

But cyberattacks and paramilitary tactics by Russia "will be met with "a decisive, reciprocal, and united response," she said.

The U.S. State Department has cleared Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia to send U.S.-made missiles and other weapons to Ukraine, three sources familiar with the decision said. read more

The third-party transfer agreements will allow Estonia to transfer Javelin anti-tank missiles to Ukraine, while Lithuania will be permitted to send Stinger missiles, said one of the sources.

Republicans expressed concern about Biden's remarks.

"Any incursion by the Russian military into Ukraine should be viewed as a major incursion because it will destabilize Ukraine and freedom-loving countries in Eastern Europe," said Republican Senator Rob Portman.
Russia has also moved troops to Belarus for what it calls joint military exercises, giving it the option of attacking neighboring Ukraine from the north, east and south. read more

Eight years ago it seized Crimea and backed separatist forces who took control of large parts of eastern Ukraine, but it has consistently denied any intention of invading now.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Western weapons deliveries to Ukraine, military maneuvers and NATO aircraft flights were to blame for rising tensions around Ukraine.
https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/bl ... 022-01-19/

Russian Spetsnaz or special forces are already occupying eastern Ukraine under the guise of being Ukrainian freedom fighters.

Russia was a US pledge that Ukraine will never become a member of NATO a pledge the US won't give. Reality is that all NATO members won't approve Ukraine's membership. Russian saber rattling could change it.
"Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts." - Daniel Patrick Moynihan

Re: Biden says Russia will invade Ukraine.

4
I have mixed opinions about this. On the one hand, Putin is an old Cold Warrior from the intel side of things. All this posturing could simply be an information gathering exercise. Classic maskirovka. Stage exercises meant to look like an incipient invasion, but keep your eyes on the Western response. Find out what we know and how we know it. Root out your moles. Determine which codes are broken, which lines of communication are compromised. Evaluate NATO reconnaissance capabilities, political will, and potential responses. Use this information to plan the real thing down the road. I hope that's what this is.

OTOH. If the plan is to go all in on rebuilding the Russian empire, the hot war will get cold quick. Sanctions will lead to pipeline closures. The US can compensate to some degree through coal exports, but the European winter is going to get cold and dark. Cyberattacks on western infrastructure could make last winter's outages in Texas look charming. Our military has secure lines of communication dating back to the Cold War, but banking, pipelines, generation and distribution are all poorly secured. Of course, that probably cuts both ways. If Putin wants a cyber war, I doubt he knows what he's going to get hit with. In any case, he will have to move soon if he wants to. Armor will get bogged down fast once the spring thaw hits. The pipeline leverage fades come spring. If the internet goes down, be prepared for the worst.

Stocking guns or ammo is pretty pointless, beyond your usual range needs in a pandemic. The rest of the prepper handbook applies though. Fingers crossed.

Re: Biden says Russia will invade Ukraine.

6
He could just be playing a game of brinkmanship to see what he can get away with, since he doesn’t have his puppet in the White House anymore.
Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.-Huxley
"We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both." ~ Louis Brandeis,

Re: Biden says Russia will invade Ukraine.

8
The UK foreign office said in a Saturday statement it has information that the Russian government is planning to "install a pro-Russian leader in Kyiv as it considers whether to invade and occupy Ukraine."

"The former Ukrainian MP Yevhen Murayev is being considered as a potential candidate," the British Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office said. Murayev told CNN Saturday "there is nothing to comment on" regarding the allegations, as he is a Ukrainian national and still facing Russian sanctions.

The statement went on to name four other former Ukrainian officials, saying, "We have information that the Russian intelligence services maintain links with numerous former Ukrainian politicians" including Serhiy Arbuzov, First Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine from 2012 to 2014, and acting Prime Minister in 2014; Andriy Kluyev, First Deputy Prime Minister from 2010 to 2012 and Chief of Staff to former Ukrainian President Yanukovich, Vladimir Sivkovich, former Deputy Head of the Ukrainian National Security and Defence Council (RNBO); Mykola Azarov, Prime Minister of Ukraine from 2010-2014, it said.

"Some of these have contact with Russian intelligence officers currently involved in the planning for an attack on Ukraine," the British foreign office statement added. Russia has denied allegations it is planning to attack Ukraine.

CNN reached out to the UK foreign office on Saturday for further comment on the claims, as well as supporting evidence, but it said it would not comment any further. "The information being released today shines a light on the extent of Russian activity designed to subvert Ukraine, and is an insight into Kremlin thinking," UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said in a statement.

"Russia must deescalate, end its campaigns of aggression and disinformation, and pursue a path of diplomacy," Truss said. "As the UK and our partners have said repeatedly, any Russian military incursion into Ukraine would be a massive strategic mistake with severe costs."

CNN also reached out to the US State Department and the White House for comment.
A source briefed on the US and British intelligence confirmed the US has similar evidence as the UK, regarding Russia's plot to install a friendly government in Ukraine. "Yes, we have seen the intelligence that Russia is looking at ways to minimize a long, drawn out war. That includes things like installing a friendly government and using its spy agencies to foment dissent," the source said.


Another source briefed said the US "has the same information." Russia has previously been accused of attempting to sow chaos in Ukraine through cyberattacks and, purportedly, plotting to take control of the government in Kyiv. But the Kremlin has repeatedly denied it is planning to invade. CNN previously reported the US accused Russia of recruiting current and former Ukrainian government officials to attempt to take control of Ukraine's government as it unveiled new sanctions on Thursday.

The Treasury Department rolled out sanctions against four current and former Ukrainian officials it said were involved in Kremlin-directed influence activities to destabilize Ukraine. Those newly sanctioned individuals include Taras Romanovych Kozak, Volodymyr Mykolayovych Oliynyk, Vladimir Leonidovich Sivkovich, and Oleh Voloshyn. Sivkovich was the only former Ukrainian politician named in both the US and UK announcements.

The Treasury said the four individuals -- two of whom are current members of Ukraine's Parliament --- were acting under the direction of a Russian intelligence service sanctioned by the US and played "various roles" in Russia's "global influence campaign to destabilize sovereign countries in support of the Kremlin's political objectives."

US National Security Council Spokesperson Emily Horne expressed solidarity with Ukraine as the UK Foreign Office said it had information the Russian government is planning to install a pro-Russian leader in Ukraine, calling the plot "deeply concerning."

"This kind of plotting is deeply concerning," Horne said. "The Ukrainian people have the sovereign right to determine their own future, and we stand with our democratically-elected partners in Ukraine."
NATO members have, in recent days, deployed military equipment and personnel to eastern alliance members in response to Russia's troop buildup in Ukraine. The Dutch Defense Minister said the Netherlands would deploy two F-35 jets, along with support staff, to Bulgaria in April or May, while the Spanish Defense Minister offered to send fighter jets and a warship to the Black Sea.

The alliance has also begun sending weaponry to Kyiv to deter a potential Russian invasion and strengthen Ukraine's defensive capabilities. Light anti-tank weapons from the United Kingdom have already arrived in the country, the Ukrainian Defense Ministry said Tuesday, while the Czech Republic plans donate 152-milimeter caliber artillery ammunition to Ukraine in the coming days, Czech Defense Minister Jana Černochová said Friday.

Germany will supply a fully equipped field hospital to Ukraine, according to the German Defense Ministry. The country has traditionally avoided exporting arms to crisis areas since World War II, but German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said earlier this week that "all measures" will be on the table if there is further Russian aggression against Ukraine. The US Embassy in Kyiv said Friday that the first shipment of American-directed materiel -- 200,000 pounds of lethal aid, including ammunition for fighters on the front lines -- has arrived in Ukraine.

Though US President Joe Biden ruled out sending American combat troops to Ukraine, Washington has approved the shipment of US-origin weapons to Kyiv -- including highly sought-after American anti-aircraft systems from Latvia and Lithuania. Those armaments would help Ukraine fend off Russian aircraft that, some officials and experts believe, would lead the way in the early stages of a Russian invasion. Estonia was given approval to transfer anti-tank Javelin guided missile systems, which the US has provided Ukraine with in the past.
https://www.cnn.com/2022/01/22/europe/b ... index.html

Putin could just be saber rattling, thinking the West is tired due to COVID and doesn't want to get into a conflict over Ukraine. Putin wants another buffer state puppet like Belarus.
"Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts." - Daniel Patrick Moynihan

Re: Biden says Russia will invade Ukraine.

10
Anti aircraft and antitank missiles are a huge deal. If Russia can’t have air supremacy over Ukraine and can’t blitzkrieg with tanks, the war is gonna be too expensive, even for them. Putin knows that a lot of dead Russian soldiers is not good for his reputation. The last thing he wants is another Chechnya.
Glad that federal government is boring again.

Re: Biden says Russia will invade Ukraine.

11
I heard Russian troops have to go through the Chernobyl area in order to invade.
If they get bogged down there it might be a problem.
Plus Ukrainians are like not going there.

Edit: https://news.yahoo.com/defend-chernobyl ... 27015.html

CHERNOBYL, Ukraine — Ukrainian soldiers, Kalashnikov rifles slung over their shoulders, patrolled through a silent, snowy forest, passing homes so long abandon...
I Have Seen The Enemy And It Is Us

Re: Biden says Russia will invade Ukraine.

12
highdesert wrote: Sat Jan 22, 2022 6:54 pm
The UK foreign office said in a Saturday statement it has information that the Russian government is planning to "install a pro-Russian leader in Kyiv as it considers whether to invade and occupy Ukraine."

"The former Ukrainian MP Yevhen Murayev is being considered as a potential candidate," the British Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office said. Murayev told CNN Saturday "there is nothing to comment on" regarding the allegations, as he is a Ukrainian national and still facing Russian sanctions.

The statement went on to name four other former Ukrainian officials, saying, "We have information that the Russian intelligence services maintain links with numerous former Ukrainian politicians" including Serhiy Arbuzov, First Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine from 2012 to 2014, and acting Prime Minister in 2014; Andriy Kluyev, First Deputy Prime Minister from 2010 to 2012 and Chief of Staff to former Ukrainian President Yanukovich, Vladimir Sivkovich, former Deputy Head of the Ukrainian National Security and Defence Council (RNBO); Mykola Azarov, Prime Minister of Ukraine from 2010-2014, it said.

"Some of these have contact with Russian intelligence officers currently involved in the planning for an attack on Ukraine," the British foreign office statement added. Russia has denied allegations it is planning to attack Ukraine.

CNN reached out to the UK foreign office on Saturday for further comment on the claims, as well as supporting evidence, but it said it would not comment any further. "The information being released today shines a light on the extent of Russian activity designed to subvert Ukraine, and is an insight into Kremlin thinking," UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said in a statement.

"Russia must deescalate, end its campaigns of aggression and disinformation, and pursue a path of diplomacy," Truss said. "As the UK and our partners have said repeatedly, any Russian military incursion into Ukraine would be a massive strategic mistake with severe costs."

CNN also reached out to the US State Department and the White House for comment.
A source briefed on the US and British intelligence confirmed the US has similar evidence as the UK, regarding Russia's plot to install a friendly government in Ukraine. "Yes, we have seen the intelligence that Russia is looking at ways to minimize a long, drawn out war. That includes things like installing a friendly government and using its spy agencies to foment dissent," the source said.


Another source briefed said the US "has the same information." Russia has previously been accused of attempting to sow chaos in Ukraine through cyberattacks and, purportedly, plotting to take control of the government in Kyiv. But the Kremlin has repeatedly denied it is planning to invade. CNN previously reported the US accused Russia of recruiting current and former Ukrainian government officials to attempt to take control of Ukraine's government as it unveiled new sanctions on Thursday.

The Treasury Department rolled out sanctions against four current and former Ukrainian officials it said were involved in Kremlin-directed influence activities to destabilize Ukraine. Those newly sanctioned individuals include Taras Romanovych Kozak, Volodymyr Mykolayovych Oliynyk, Vladimir Leonidovich Sivkovich, and Oleh Voloshyn. Sivkovich was the only former Ukrainian politician named in both the US and UK announcements.

The Treasury said the four individuals -- two of whom are current members of Ukraine's Parliament --- were acting under the direction of a Russian intelligence service sanctioned by the US and played "various roles" in Russia's "global influence campaign to destabilize sovereign countries in support of the Kremlin's political objectives."

US National Security Council Spokesperson Emily Horne expressed solidarity with Ukraine as the UK Foreign Office said it had information the Russian government is planning to install a pro-Russian leader in Ukraine, calling the plot "deeply concerning."

"This kind of plotting is deeply concerning," Horne said. "The Ukrainian people have the sovereign right to determine their own future, and we stand with our democratically-elected partners in Ukraine."
NATO members have, in recent days, deployed military equipment and personnel to eastern alliance members in response to Russia's troop buildup in Ukraine. The Dutch Defense Minister said the Netherlands would deploy two F-35 jets, along with support staff, to Bulgaria in April or May, while the Spanish Defense Minister offered to send fighter jets and a warship to the Black Sea.

The alliance has also begun sending weaponry to Kyiv to deter a potential Russian invasion and strengthen Ukraine's defensive capabilities. Light anti-tank weapons from the United Kingdom have already arrived in the country, the Ukrainian Defense Ministry said Tuesday, while the Czech Republic plans donate 152-milimeter caliber artillery ammunition to Ukraine in the coming days, Czech Defense Minister Jana Černochová said Friday.

Germany will supply a fully equipped field hospital to Ukraine, according to the German Defense Ministry. The country has traditionally avoided exporting arms to crisis areas since World War II, but German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said earlier this week that "all measures" will be on the table if there is further Russian aggression against Ukraine. The US Embassy in Kyiv said Friday that the first shipment of American-directed materiel -- 200,000 pounds of lethal aid, including ammunition for fighters on the front lines -- has arrived in Ukraine.

Though US President Joe Biden ruled out sending American combat troops to Ukraine, Washington has approved the shipment of US-origin weapons to Kyiv -- including highly sought-after American anti-aircraft systems from Latvia and Lithuania. Those armaments would help Ukraine fend off Russian aircraft that, some officials and experts believe, would lead the way in the early stages of a Russian invasion. Estonia was given approval to transfer anti-tank Javelin guided missile systems, which the US has provided Ukraine with in the past.
https://www.cnn.com/2022/01/22/europe/b ... index.html

Putin could just be saber rattling, thinking the West is tired due to COVID and doesn't want to get into a conflict over Ukraine. Putin wants another buffer state puppet like Belarus.
Just like Finland, Ukraine has been a Russian buffer state for centuries. It’s the reality of living next to a large powerful country. It’s not smart of Ukraine to court the west and it’s not smart of the west to lead them on and encourage it. I’d say the exact same thing if Finland said they wanted into NATO and have said it. It’s an unnecessary move and the gains are not there. Russia may still demand land concessions and neutrality for what remains. Hell, they did it in 1939. What Russia wants is to secure natural resources as well, look at mineral, coal and oil. From Finland Russia wanted the Petsamo nickel mines and a chunk of the industrial base in eastern Finland. I know the west harbors access to Ukraine’s mineral deposits which are part of the same formation as Russia’s. It’s probably not a coincidence, but I bet the Russians have that region in their scopes. The west’s interest in Ukraine has been the excuse for Russia to make this move. I don’t think this can be unraveled without military action. The only question is, how far will Russia go, full or partial takeover.
Image
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"Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated!" Loquacious of many. Texas Chapter Chief Cat Herder.

Re: Biden says Russia will invade Ukraine.

14
sikacz wrote: Sun Jan 23, 2022 9:08 am
highdesert wrote: Sat Jan 22, 2022 6:54 pm
The UK foreign office said in a Saturday statement it has information that the Russian government is planning to "install a pro-Russian leader in Kyiv as it considers whether to invade and occupy Ukraine."

"The former Ukrainian MP Yevhen Murayev is being considered as a potential candidate," the British Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office said. Murayev told CNN Saturday "there is nothing to comment on" regarding the allegations, as he is a Ukrainian national and still facing Russian sanctions.

The statement went on to name four other former Ukrainian officials, saying, "We have information that the Russian intelligence services maintain links with numerous former Ukrainian politicians" including Serhiy Arbuzov, First Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine from 2012 to 2014, and acting Prime Minister in 2014; Andriy Kluyev, First Deputy Prime Minister from 2010 to 2012 and Chief of Staff to former Ukrainian President Yanukovich, Vladimir Sivkovich, former Deputy Head of the Ukrainian National Security and Defence Council (RNBO); Mykola Azarov, Prime Minister of Ukraine from 2010-2014, it said.

"Some of these have contact with Russian intelligence officers currently involved in the planning for an attack on Ukraine," the British foreign office statement added. Russia has denied allegations it is planning to attack Ukraine.

CNN reached out to the UK foreign office on Saturday for further comment on the claims, as well as supporting evidence, but it said it would not comment any further. "The information being released today shines a light on the extent of Russian activity designed to subvert Ukraine, and is an insight into Kremlin thinking," UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said in a statement.

"Russia must deescalate, end its campaigns of aggression and disinformation, and pursue a path of diplomacy," Truss said. "As the UK and our partners have said repeatedly, any Russian military incursion into Ukraine would be a massive strategic mistake with severe costs."

CNN also reached out to the US State Department and the White House for comment.
A source briefed on the US and British intelligence confirmed the US has similar evidence as the UK, regarding Russia's plot to install a friendly government in Ukraine. "Yes, we have seen the intelligence that Russia is looking at ways to minimize a long, drawn out war. That includes things like installing a friendly government and using its spy agencies to foment dissent," the source said.


Another source briefed said the US "has the same information." Russia has previously been accused of attempting to sow chaos in Ukraine through cyberattacks and, purportedly, plotting to take control of the government in Kyiv. But the Kremlin has repeatedly denied it is planning to invade. CNN previously reported the US accused Russia of recruiting current and former Ukrainian government officials to attempt to take control of Ukraine's government as it unveiled new sanctions on Thursday.

The Treasury Department rolled out sanctions against four current and former Ukrainian officials it said were involved in Kremlin-directed influence activities to destabilize Ukraine. Those newly sanctioned individuals include Taras Romanovych Kozak, Volodymyr Mykolayovych Oliynyk, Vladimir Leonidovich Sivkovich, and Oleh Voloshyn. Sivkovich was the only former Ukrainian politician named in both the US and UK announcements.

The Treasury said the four individuals -- two of whom are current members of Ukraine's Parliament --- were acting under the direction of a Russian intelligence service sanctioned by the US and played "various roles" in Russia's "global influence campaign to destabilize sovereign countries in support of the Kremlin's political objectives."

US National Security Council Spokesperson Emily Horne expressed solidarity with Ukraine as the UK Foreign Office said it had information the Russian government is planning to install a pro-Russian leader in Ukraine, calling the plot "deeply concerning."

"This kind of plotting is deeply concerning," Horne said. "The Ukrainian people have the sovereign right to determine their own future, and we stand with our democratically-elected partners in Ukraine."
NATO members have, in recent days, deployed military equipment and personnel to eastern alliance members in response to Russia's troop buildup in Ukraine. The Dutch Defense Minister said the Netherlands would deploy two F-35 jets, along with support staff, to Bulgaria in April or May, while the Spanish Defense Minister offered to send fighter jets and a warship to the Black Sea.

The alliance has also begun sending weaponry to Kyiv to deter a potential Russian invasion and strengthen Ukraine's defensive capabilities. Light anti-tank weapons from the United Kingdom have already arrived in the country, the Ukrainian Defense Ministry said Tuesday, while the Czech Republic plans donate 152-milimeter caliber artillery ammunition to Ukraine in the coming days, Czech Defense Minister Jana Černochová said Friday.

Germany will supply a fully equipped field hospital to Ukraine, according to the German Defense Ministry. The country has traditionally avoided exporting arms to crisis areas since World War II, but German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said earlier this week that "all measures" will be on the table if there is further Russian aggression against Ukraine. The US Embassy in Kyiv said Friday that the first shipment of American-directed materiel -- 200,000 pounds of lethal aid, including ammunition for fighters on the front lines -- has arrived in Ukraine.

Though US President Joe Biden ruled out sending American combat troops to Ukraine, Washington has approved the shipment of US-origin weapons to Kyiv -- including highly sought-after American anti-aircraft systems from Latvia and Lithuania. Those armaments would help Ukraine fend off Russian aircraft that, some officials and experts believe, would lead the way in the early stages of a Russian invasion. Estonia was given approval to transfer anti-tank Javelin guided missile systems, which the US has provided Ukraine with in the past.
https://www.cnn.com/2022/01/22/europe/b ... index.html

Putin could just be saber rattling, thinking the West is tired due to COVID and doesn't want to get into a conflict over Ukraine. Putin wants another buffer state puppet like Belarus.
Just like Finland, Ukraine has been a Russian buffer state for centuries. It’s the reality of living next to a large powerful country. It’s not smart of Ukraine to court the west and it’s not smart of the west to lead them on and encourage it. I’d say the exact same thing if Finland said they wanted into NATO and have said it. It’s an unnecessary move and the gains are not there. Russia may still demand land concessions and neutrality for what remains. Hell, they did it in 1939. What Russia wants is to secure natural resources as well, look at mineral, coal and oil. From Finland Russia wanted the Petsamo nickel mines and a chunk of the industrial base in eastern Finland. I know the west harbors access to Ukraine’s mineral deposits which are part of the same formation as Russia’s. It’s probably not a coincidence, but I bet the Russians have that region in their scopes. The west’s interest in Ukraine has been the excuse for Russia to make this move. I don’t think this can be unraveled without military action. The only question is, how far will Russia go, full or partial takeover.

You're right, Ukraine can learn a lot from Finland, how to survive living next to the Great Bear. They're a member of the EU and a NATO Partner and coexist cautiously. The Winter War was costly, but if the Finns had the support of the US and Europe at that time it could have been a very different story. The Finnish guerilla war against the Soviets was heroic.
Elsewhere on the frontier, Finnish ski troops used the rugged landscape to conduct hit-and-run attacks on isolated Soviet units. Their guerilla tactics were only aided by the freezing Finnish winter, which bogged the Soviets down and made their soldiers easy to spot against snowy terrain. One Finnish sniper, a farmer named Simo Häyhä, was eventually credited with over 500 kills.
https://www.history.com/news/what-was-the-winter-war

The world is different and the armaments are different and Putin has some sensitivity to public opinion, unlike Stalin. Corruption has always dragged down Ukrainian governments and that weakens them, but Russia's government is even more corrupt. Yes Russia will try to extract some concessions for a withdrawal.

I assume Biden threatened Putin with huge financial sanctions targeting him personally and all his financial holdings which I assume a lot of them are in the West. No more just targeting his cronies. Negotiations are no doubt going on in private and it's wait and see time.
"Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts." - Daniel Patrick Moynihan

Re: Biden says Russia will invade Ukraine.

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Doyle McManus, a DC based LA Times columnist.
In his meandering news conference last week, President Biden repeated, as he often does, a bit of ancient advice from his father: “If everything is equally important to you, nothing is important to you.”

He was referring to his decision to withdraw from Afghanistan, but the maxim also applies to his confrontation with Russian President Vladimir Putin over Ukraine.

For Putin, Ukraine is national security problem No. 1. Without Ukraine as a satellite, Russia is a diminished giant. Ukraine isn’t a military threat to anyone, but a successful democratic government in Kyiv — especially one that yearns to align itself with NATO — would give Russians a dangerous alternative model to Putin’s authoritarian regime.

For Biden, meanwhile, Ukraine is only one of many foreign policy problems, and it’s not the top of his list. The president wants to focus on confronting China and reviving traditional alliances, not defending Kyiv.

That’s why Biden set out early last year to build what he called “a stable and predictable relationship” with Putin; he didn’t want Russia to be a problem.

Putin, alas, had other ideas. “Stable and predictable” didn’t work for him. He doesn’t like a status quo in which Ukraine keeps inching toward the West. Nor does he relish being taken for granted.

The result is an asymmetric crisis. Despite Russia’s denials, Putin’s troop buildup near Ukraine is clearly a threat to invade, but neither the United States nor any other country is willing to use military force in response.

Instead, Biden has warned that an invasion will result in “massive” economic sanctions against Moscow — but as he acknowledged inartfully last week, other NATO countries haven’t agreed on all the details.

When the president added, in a distressingly imprecise Bidenism, that a “minor incursion” by Russia might not draw a massive Western response, that was undeniably a gaffe — one his aides spent the rest of the week trying to clean up.

But it fit Michael Kinsley’s classic definition: “A gaffe is when a politician tells the truth — some obvious truth he isn’t supposed to say.”

By the end of the week, Biden’s misstep, slightly clarified, had become U.S. policy. “Russia has an extensive playbook of aggression short of military action, including cyberattacks [and] paramilitary tactics,” Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken said Friday after meeting with Russia’s foreign minister. Such lesser moves would draw a “calibrated” response, Blinken said.

There are plenty of reasons Germany and other U.S. allies have qualms about massive sanctions on Russia.

For one thing, economic sanctions rarely succeed in changing a country’s behavior — especially when the target is a relatively wealthy country with alternative sources of income.

And measures against Russia “will hurt European countries more than they hurt us,” Douglas A. Rediker of the nonpartisan Brookings Institution warned. “Europe will reluctantly go along with a major sanctions package designed by the United States, but how long is that sustainable?”

If Putin responds by cutting his country’s natural gas deliveries to Europe in midwinter, Germany and other countries will feel immediate pain, he noted.

“Without Russian gas … Europe cannot maintain both heating in homes and existing manufacturing capacity,” he said.

There’s a larger lesson here. The United States is still a superpower, but our ability to influence events overseas is increasingly limited by the growing power of others.

Our domestic political debate hasn’t entirely caught up with that reality. Presidents of both parties still face frequent demands that they address international problems everywhere. But the global expectations forged in the Cold War and the unipolar moment that followed it are unrealistic, as we should have learned in Afghanistan and Iraq.

“The United States is an overstretched hegemon,” foreign policy scholar Hal Brands of Johns Hopkins wrote in Foreign Affairs last week. “Washington has more responsibilities — and more enemies — than it has coercive means.”

More bluntly, we don’t have the resources to fight in Ukraine and Taiwan at the same time.

That mismatch doesn’t merely limit U.S. military options, Brands warned; it also produces “the loss of diplomatic influence in situations short of war…. Leaders in Moscow and Tehran can see that the United States is stretched thin militarily and eager to pay more attention to China.”

One of Biden’s responses to that problem has been to rely on alliances like NATO, but that means — as in the case of Ukraine — he’s constrained by what allies are willing to support.

Eventually, an overstretched superpower has to trim its ambitions, expand its military, or both. But the underlying cause is a mismatch of commitments and capabilities, not a failure of will in the Oval Office — much less a propensity for gaffes.
https://www.latimes.com/politics/story/ ... f-us-power
"Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts." - Daniel Patrick Moynihan

Re: Biden says Russia will invade Ukraine.

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I feel for the Grunts and Tankers. Russian or not, they’re soldiers. Being on exercise in a continental winter is about as close to hell as life gets. The only thing they have to look forward to is bullets and shrapnel PLUS mud and freezing and shitty food. I hope they have plenty of cigs and vodka.
'Sorry stupid people but there are some definite disadvantages to being stupid."

-John Cleese

Re: Biden says Russia will invade Ukraine.

17
Why the hell is anyone still worrying about an invasion of Taiwan?!? It simply is not going to happen! Cannot happen! About as realistic as China invading Japan!

🤦🏻‍♂️
"It is better to be violent, if there is violence in our hearts, than to put on the cloak of non-violence to cover impotence. There is hope for a violent man to become non-violent. There is no such hope for the impotent." -Gandhi

Re: Biden says Russia will invade Ukraine.

18
Bisbee wrote: Sun Jan 23, 2022 2:18 pm Why the hell is anyone still worrying about an invasion of Taiwan?!? It simply is not going to happen! Cannot happen! About as realistic as China invading Japan!
It is a political ploy by China and Taiwan. Very much like kabuki theater in Japan. It is a drama and dance carried out to satisfy the wants and needs of parts of the US government DoD. The Chinese in Mainland China and Taiwan know they aren't going to war because it would wreck their commercial economy. But the song and dance of China and Taiwan also brings in much wanted US government dollars to Taiwan and eventually to China. The American economy has too much riding on the peace between the two economic Asian powers so the song and dance continue.

Now about Russia invading the Ukraine. That is more uncertain due to Putin. If he thinks he can get away with it he will and he won't suffer the people of Russia and the Ukraine will suffer. If he can get a Russian friendly government in charge he will be happy. The Russians suffer from a paranoia that dates back to before the Tsars. It is inherent in their culture. So if they can get at least a more friendly government in the Ukraine, Putin may be satisfied. If he is smart he will try and get an economic agreement with the Ukraine and later offer further incentives to align them more with Russia, but also let the Ukraine keep their distance. Have it sort of like Finland or Canada. If we can provide assurances to the Ukraine and Russia that as long as the Russians play nice and don't invade then everybody will be happy. We don't need to have the Ukraine become part of NATO because that will just kick the Russian paranoia up the scale even higher. So that is the tidbit we give the Russians. But we also make it clear to both parties that we won't tolerate the Russian invasion or military action and we also won't tolerate the Ukraine to provoke the action.
Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.-Huxley
"We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both." ~ Louis Brandeis,

Re: Biden says Russia will invade Ukraine.

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I agree, Russia can very well invade Ukraine and have a real incentive to if Putin can get away with it. So Biden and the US should stop worrying about China pulling a crazy and just focus on the pressuring the only real bully able to make a move on its neighbor.
"It is better to be violent, if there is violence in our hearts, than to put on the cloak of non-violence to cover impotence. There is hope for a violent man to become non-violent. There is no such hope for the impotent." -Gandhi

Re: Biden says Russia will invade Ukraine.

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Those pesky satellites tell the story of Russian troop movements, though they'll deny it. If Russia invades Ukraine, it's much more of a threat to Europe than the US. Article 5 of the NATO treaty only commits the US government to respond militarily for NATO members and Ukraine isn't a member.

Putin wants the US to commit to never admitting Ukraine to NATO, something the US won't do at least publicly. Putin also wants NATO to return to its pre-1997 borders something they will not do.

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China is a threat militarily and to our Asian allies including Taiwan. And it's our largest espionage threat. We're an Atlantic and a Pacific power.
"Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts." - Daniel Patrick Moynihan

Re: Biden says Russia will invade Ukraine.

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President Biden is considering deploying several thousand U.S. troops, as well as warships and aircraft, to NATO allies in the Baltics and Eastern Europe, an expansion of American military involvement amid mounting fears of a Russian incursion into Ukraine, according to administration officials.

The move would signal a major pivot for the Biden administration, which up until recently was taking a restrained stance on Ukraine, out of fear of provoking Russia into invading. But as President Vladimir V. Putin has ramped up his threatening actions toward Ukraine, and talks between American and Russian officials have failed to discourage him, the administration is now moving away from its do-not-provoke strategy.

In a meeting on Saturday at Camp David, the presidential retreat in Maryland, senior Pentagon officials presented Mr. Biden with several options that would shift American military assets much closer to Mr. Putin’s doorstep, the administration officials said. The options include sending 1,000 to 5,000 troops to Eastern European countries, with the potential to increase that number tenfold if things deteriorate.

The officials spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk publicly about internal deliberations.

Mr. Biden is expected to make a decision as early as this week, they said. He is weighing the buildup as Russia has escalated its menacing posture against Ukraine, including massing more than 100,000 troops and weaponry on the border and stationing Russian forces in Belarus. On Saturday, Britain accused Moscow of developing plans to install a pro-Russian leader in Ukraine.

“Even as we’re engaged in diplomacy, we are very much focused on building up defense, building up deterrence,” Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken said in an interview that aired Sunday on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” “NATO itself will continue to be reinforced in a significant way if Russia commits renewed acts of aggression. All of that is on the table.”

So far, none of the military options being considered include deploying additional American troops to Ukraine itself, and Mr. Biden has made clear that he is loath to enter another conflict following America’s painful exit from Afghanistan last summer after 20 years.

But after years of tiptoeing around the question of how much military support to provide to Ukraine, for fear of provoking Russia, Biden officials have recently warned that the United States could throw its weight behind a Ukrainian insurgency should Mr. Putin invade Ukraine.

And the deployment of thousands of additional American troops to NATO’s eastern flank, which includes Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, Biden administration officials said, is exactly the scenario that Mr. Putin has wanted to avoid, as he has seen the western military alliance creep closer and closer to Russia’s own border.

The discussions came as the State Department ordered all family members of U.S. embassy personnel in Kyiv to leave Ukraine, citing the threat of Russian military action, and authorized some embassy employees to depart as well, according to senior State Department officials who briefed reporters on Sunday. The officials, who also spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to comment, declined to say how many embassy personnel and family members were in the country. Thinning out staff at American embassies is a common precaution when conflicts or other crises arise that could put American diplomats in harm’s way.

In his news conference last week, Mr. Biden said he had cautioned Mr. Putin that a Russian invasion of Ukraine would prompt Washington to send more troops to the region.

“We’re going to actually increase troop presence in Poland, in Romania, et cetera, if in fact he moves,” Mr. Biden said. “They are part of NATO.”

During a phone call this month, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III warned his Russian counterpart, Sergey Shoygu, that a Russian incursion into Ukraine would most likely result in the exact troop buildup that Mr. Biden is now considering.

At the time of the phone call — Jan. 6 — the Biden administration was still trying to be more restrained in its stance on Ukraine. But after unsuccessful talks between Mr. Blinken and the Russian foreign minister, Sergey V. Lavrov, on Friday, the administration is eying a more muscular posture, including not only diplomatic options like sanctions, but military options like increasing military support to Ukrainian forces and deploying American troops to the region.

“This is clearly in response to the sudden stationing of Russian forces in Belarus, on the border, essentially, with NATO,” said Evelyn Farkas, the top Pentagon official for Russia and Ukraine during the Obama administration. “There is no way that NATO could not reply to such a sudden military move in this political context. The Kremlin needs to understand that they are only escalating the situation with all of these deployments and increasing the danger to all parties, including themselves.”

A former top Pentagon official for Europe and NATO policy, Jim Townsend, said the administration’s proposal did not go far enough.

“It’s likely too little too late to deter Putin,” Mr. Townsend said in an email. “If the Russians do invade Ukraine in a few weeks, those 5,000 should be just a down payment for a much larger U.S. and allied force presence. Western Europe should once again be an armed camp.”

During the meeting at Camp David, Mr. Austin and Gen. Mark A. Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, appeared by video from the Pentagon and from General Milley’s quarters, where he has been quarantining since he tested positive for the coronavirus. Officials said that if Mr. Biden approved the deployment, some of the troops would come from the United States, while others would move from other parts of Europe to the more vulnerable countries on NATO’s eastern flank.

American officials did not describe in detail the ground troop reinforcements under review, but current and former commanders said they should include more air defense, engineering, logistics and artillery forces.

Besides the troops, Mr. Biden could also approve sending additional aircraft to the region.

Representative Michael McCaul of Texas, the top Republican on the Foreign Affairs Committee, said on Sunday that the United States also needed to conduct more training in those NATO nations.

“We need joint exercises in Poland, the Baltic States, Romania, Bulgaria, to show Putin that we’re serious,” Mr. McCaul said on “Face the Nation.” “Right now, he doesn’t see we’re serious.”

According to Poland’s defense ministry, there are currently about 4,000 U.S. troops and 1,000 other NATO troops stationed in Poland. There are also about 4,000 NATO troops in the Baltic States.

The United States has been regularly flying Air Force RC-135 Rivet Joint electronic-eavesdropping planes over Ukraine since late December. The planes allow American intelligence operatives to listen to Russian ground commanders’ communications. The Air Force is also flying E-8 JSTARS ground-surveillance planes to track the Russian troop buildup and the movements of the forces.

The Biden administration is especially interested in any indication that Russia may deploy tactical nuclear weapons to the border, a move that Russian officials have suggested could be an option.

More than 150 U.S. military advisers are in Ukraine, trainers who have for years worked out of the training ground near Lviv, in the country’s west, far from the front lines. The current group includes Special Operations forces, mostly Army Green Berets, as well as National Guard trainers from Florida’s 53rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team.

Military advisers from about a dozen allied countries are also in Ukraine, U.S. officials said. Several NATO countries, including Britain, Canada, Lithuania and Poland, have regularly sent training forces to the country.

In the event of a full-scale Russian invasion, the United States intends to move its military trainers out of the country quickly. But it is possible that some Americans could stay to advise Ukrainian officials in Kyiv, the capital, or provide frontline support, a U.S. official said.
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/01/23/us/p ... raine.html
"Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts." - Daniel Patrick Moynihan

Re: Biden says Russia will invade Ukraine.

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Long long ago and in a time it seems many have forgotten the US deployed troops to a place called the Fulda Gap. It was not a lot of troops, but the gap was the most likely path that Soviet Armored Vehicles would take to invade Germany.

They were few and would almost certainly get overwhelmed immediately with absolutely no hope of stopping an invasion force.

They were a tripwire, and the other end of that tripwire was the total US Nuclear arsenal.
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Re: Biden says Russia will invade Ukraine.

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sig230 wrote: Mon Jan 24, 2022 7:47 am Long long ago and in a time it seems many have forgotten the US deployed troops to a place called the Fulda Gap. It was not a lot of troops, but the gap was the most likely path that Soviet Armored Vehicles would take to invade Germany.

They were few and would almost certainly get overwhelmed immediately with absolutely no hope of stopping an invasion force.

They were a tripwire, and the other end of that tripwire was the total US Nuclear arsenal.
:rofl:
Specifically, a couple thousand tactical nukes like 'Davy Crockett' - short range recoilless rifles that could take out a tank battalion with radiation alone. We stationed a lot of the ol' coon skin caps in the Fulda gap back in the day. And now we worry about terrorists with baby nukes.

Re: Biden says Russia will invade Ukraine.

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I'm back to maskirovka, not invasion. The point has been made recently that Xi wants to have a nice Winter Games without Ukraine or Taiwan as floating turds in the punchbowl - Covid is bad enough. After the games, there's very little time before the spring thaw bogs down armor. Coup d'etat, sure, nice if they could pull it off. As far as Putin is concerned, every neutral buffer state that has turned West or fragmented since 1991 has been an illegitimate coup.

Re: Biden says Russia will invade Ukraine.

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The USA is fully capable of supplying ALL of Western Europe's natural gas needs as we out-produce Russia significantly. Oil can be gotten ANYWHERE these days.

As clever as Putin thinks he is, I really believe he screwed the pooch badly. There are SO many ways Russia could have expanded her influence AND her economy without all this fucking brinkmanship--and I put it all, ALL on Putin.

Think about it: Had Russia remained a real democracy, JOINED NATO, applied to join the EU, the market for Russian oil and gas would have been WELCOMED! EU goods, services and jobs would have flowed to Russia, Russia's other VAST natural resources other than fossil fuels could have been developed and just pulling a guess out of my butt, I would say the Russian GDP would be triple what it is now.

With the EU and NATO reaching from Dublin to Vladivostok, the influence over Asia, particularly China, could have easily put us on a more peaceful course. And, of course, a united front from both would DRASTICALLY change the dynamics of the Middle East.

But Putin lacks that kind of radical progressive vision, thinking only of going BACKWARDS to the Soviet era and even further to the Tsarist empire.
"The upper class: keeps all of the money, pays none of the taxes. The middle class: pays all of the taxes, does all of the work. The poor are there...just to scare the shit out of the middle class."--George Carlin

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