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R_P

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Posted: Feb 2, 2023 - 11:08pm

Hard Drinking and Murky Finances: How an American Veterans Group Imploded in Ukraine
The Mozart Group, one of the most prominent, private American military organizations in Ukraine, has collapsed under a cloud of accusations ranging from financial improprieties to alcohol-addled misjudgments. Its struggles provide a revealing window into the world of foreign volunteer groups that have flocked to Ukraine with noble intentions only to be tripped up by the stresses of managing a complicated enterprise in a war zone.

On top of that, the people Mozart hired were not the easiest to manage. Many were grizzled combat vets who admitted to struggling with PTSD and heavy drinking. When they weren’t working, they gravitated to Kyiv’s strip clubs, bars and online dating.

R_P

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Posted: Jan 30, 2023 - 5:35pm

 black321 wrote:
Cost do not matter. 
As long as Russia continues the war, this war won't end...because of the politics. 

Costs always matter. Lives lost, money better spent, stuff that's erased, etc. And the costs will influence the politics.

haresfur

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Location: The Golden Triangle
Gender: Male


Posted: Jan 30, 2023 - 4:59pm

 black321 wrote:


Cost do not matter. 
As long as Russia continues the war, this war won't end...because of the politics. because the world can't afford to give in to Russian imperialism

I hope they don't anyway
black321

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Location: An earth without maps
Gender: Male


Posted: Jan 30, 2023 - 4:56pm

 R_P wrote:

Cost do not matter. 
As long as Russia continues the war, this war won't end...because of the politics. 
R_P

R_P Avatar



Posted: Jan 30, 2023 - 4:48pm

 R_P wrote:
Avoiding a Long War
U.S. Policy and the Trajectory of the Russia-Ukraine Conflict
Discussion of the Russia-Ukraine war in Washington is increasingly dominated by the question of how it might end. To inform this discussion, this Perspective identifies ways in which the war could evolve and how alternative trajectories would affect U.S. interests. The authors argue that, in addition to minimizing the risks of major escalation, U.S. interests would be best served by avoiding a protracted conflict. The costs and risks of a long war in Ukraine are significant and outweigh the possible benefits of such a trajectory for the United States. Although Washington cannot by itself determine the war's duration, it can take steps that make an eventual negotiated end to the conflict more likely. Drawing on the literature on war termination, the authors identify key impediments to Russia-Ukraine talks, such as mutual optimism about the future of the war and mutual pessimism about the implications of peace. The Perspective highlights four policy instruments the United States could use to mitigate these impediments: clarifying plans for future support to Ukraine, making commitments to Ukraine's security, issuing assurances regarding the country's neutrality, and setting conditions for sanctions relief for Russia.

Why, Despite RAND’s Recommendation, the Ukraine War Is Unlikely to End in a Negotiated Settlement
black321

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Location: An earth without maps
Gender: Male


Posted: Jan 30, 2023 - 2:09pm

story was from a newsletter, so no links.
re. s. africa, writer was being facetious about s. african officials claim of us colonialism. 
cc_rider

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Location: Bastrop
Gender: Male


Posted: Jan 30, 2023 - 12:50pm

 kurtster wrote:

What did the US do in South Africa ?

I always thought that it was a German colony with a lot of Dutch floating around. Or the other way around.  Afrikaners.
No, the Netherlanders were there first. The Dutch East India Company established a colony around 1652.
in the 1800's the Dutch sold parts of it to Britain, but the Boers ('farmers' in Afrikaans) chafed at British rule - hmmm, sounds kinda familiar.
Hence the Boer Wars. Which is where those ingenious Brits developed the 'concentration camp', among other innovations.

To be fair, Boers were not very nice to the indigenous peoples: slavery, brutal conquest, etc. etc.
There is plenty of blame to go around...
c.

kurtster

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Location: where fear is not a virtue
Gender: Male


Posted: Jan 30, 2023 - 11:34am

 black321 wrote:
 Somehow, we missed the part where the US colonized South Africa."
 
What did the US do in South Africa ?

I always thought that it was a German colony with a lot of Dutch floating around. Or the other way around.  Afrikaners.
ScottFromWyoming

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Location: Powell
Gender: Male


Posted: Jan 30, 2023 - 10:48am

 black321 wrote:

Some blurbs I recently came across:

"The decision by western nations to deploy battle tanks to Ukraine does not mean the end of the conflict. In fact,
it may have prolonged the dispute as it allows Ukraine to defend itself against a potential Russian assault in
the spring and it allows the potential to retake lost territory. The consensus view among western intelligence
sources is that this war will end in a stalemate. Both sides are near exhaustion and the time is nearing when
even Putin realizes his ability to “win” has vanished. This may end up as similar to the decades long armistice
that ended the Korean War or it may just become a constant stream of skirmishes that keep both sides
engaged. The expected outcome is a split Ukraine with the eastern side allied with Russia and the western
side allied with Europe and the US. A continuation of this drawn-out conflict places a huge financial burden on
Europe and ultimately on the US as well. Ukraine will need military support but also rebuilding money and that
is likely to be hard to extract from Europe or the US given their own economic constraints and issues."

"Ostensibly the South African government has taken a neutral position on the Russia-
Ukraine war but the recent visit to Pretoria by Russia’s Foreign Minister makes a mockery of that “neutrality”. The South
African government has been highly supportive of Russia and asserts that Ukraine is responsible for the invasion. It
seems that funneling money into the hands of South African politicians directly has the desired impact. This is
not aid going to the country as a whole – it is cash directly to politicians in South Africa. These leaders assert they
are motivated by suspicion of US colonialism. Somehow, we missed the part where the US colonized South Africa."



include links please.
black321

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Location: An earth without maps
Gender: Male


Posted: Jan 30, 2023 - 9:58am

Some blurbs I recently came across:

"The decision by western nations to deploy battle tanks to Ukraine does not mean the end of the conflict. In fact,
it may have prolonged the dispute as it allows Ukraine to defend itself against a potential Russian assault in
the spring and it allows the potential to retake lost territory. The consensus view among western intelligence
sources is that this war will end in a stalemate. Both sides are near exhaustion and the time is nearing when
even Putin realizes his ability to “win” has vanished. This may end up as similar to the decades long armistice
that ended the Korean War or it may just become a constant stream of skirmishes that keep both sides
engaged. The expected outcome is a split Ukraine with the eastern side allied with Russia and the western
side allied with Europe and the US. A continuation of this drawn-out conflict places a huge financial burden on
Europe and ultimately on the US as well. Ukraine will need military support but also rebuilding money and that
is likely to be hard to extract from Europe or the US given their own economic constraints and issues."

"Ostensibly the South African government has taken a neutral position on the Russia-
Ukraine war but the recent visit to Pretoria by Russia’s Foreign Minister makes a mockery of that “neutrality”. The South
African government has been highly supportive of Russia and asserts that Ukraine is responsible for the invasion. It
seems that funneling money into the hands of South African politicians directly has the desired impact. This is
not aid going to the country as a whole – it is cash directly to politicians in South Africa. These leaders assert they
are motivated by suspicion of US colonialism. Somehow, we missed the part where the US colonized South Africa."
Steely_D

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Location: Biscayne Bay
Gender: Male


Posted: Jan 29, 2023 - 9:45pm

I'm not keeping up too much with specifics of this horrible attack, and it seems inevitable that - if we just think of manpower and resources - Ukraine will be bludgeoned into submission....
unless they fight on a different playing field. 

I've believed for a very long time that simply bombing/killing/invading a country is anachronistic, although I'm certain that the war machine makes so much money off it that it's inevitable. But, in the 21st century, I would think the real battlefield is electronic: jamming signals, hacking databases, generally screwing with the electronic backbone of a nation. So I wonder how much of that the Ukraine team is doing. Like some bad heist movie, distract the guards and use the laptop to rob the safe.
R_P

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Posted: Jan 28, 2023 - 1:00pm

Avoiding a Long War
U.S. Policy and the Trajectory of the Russia-Ukraine Conflict
Discussion of the Russia-Ukraine war in Washington is increasingly dominated by the question of how it might end. To inform this discussion, this Perspective identifies ways in which the war could evolve and how alternative trajectories would affect U.S. interests. The authors argue that, in addition to minimizing the risks of major escalation, U.S. interests would be best served by avoiding a protracted conflict. The costs and risks of a long war in Ukraine are significant and outweigh the possible benefits of such a trajectory for the United States. Although Washington cannot by itself determine the war's duration, it can take steps that make an eventual negotiated end to the conflict more likely. Drawing on the literature on war termination, the authors identify key impediments to Russia-Ukraine talks, such as mutual optimism about the future of the war and mutual pessimism about the implications of peace. The Perspective highlights four policy instruments the United States could use to mitigate these impediments: clarifying plans for future support to Ukraine, making commitments to Ukraine's security, issuing assurances regarding the country's neutrality, and setting conditions for sanctions relief for Russia.

kcar

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Posted: Jan 27, 2023 - 2:31pm

 black321 wrote:

and that's when things can get real scary. 
but, personally don't see that happening. 


We were involved in a similar situation decades ago. American involvement in Vietnam was small but real during WWII. IIRC members of our OSS nursed Ho Chi Minh back to health from serious illness. We basically propped up the French postwar occupation of Vietnam before we set up South Vietnam.

Our decades-lomg project in SE Asia focused on fighting Communism and preventing the realization of the Domino Theory. That project was quite public and depicted as a noble and generous and principled act. 

And the public believed it. My guess is that if the US had been able to continue the war without drafting kids into the military, domestic opposition would have been fragmented and limited. But the draft brought the war home as did the TV footage of vicious combat, guerilla warfare in Vietnamese cities and our military's inability to define or predict victory.

Russia is beginning to wake up from the same sort of lies—war against a godless enemy threatening peace at home, occupied people welcoming the invaders as liberators. Still, it stuns me that the Russians, famous for sniffing out the truth behind official Soviet propaganda, are even today mostly supportive of the war and Putin's bulls—t claims.

What it will take for Russians to actively turn against the war, I don't know. But Putin has such a stranglehold on Russian media that domestic opposition isn't going to really flare up in the near future.
R_P

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Posted: Jan 27, 2023 - 11:22am

 ScottFromWyoming wrote:
We need to launch an intense "Operation Tokyo Rose" and make sure the military knows they're killing civilians and also dying a lot. Maybe we are. 

It's called CNN.
Red_Dragon

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Posted: Jan 27, 2023 - 9:27am

 ScottFromWyoming wrote:


We need to launch an intense "Operation Tokyo Rose" and make sure the military knows they're killing civilians and also dying a lot. Maybe we are. 

Moscow Mable


ScottFromWyoming

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Location: Powell
Gender: Male


Posted: Jan 27, 2023 - 9:11am

 miamizsun wrote:


i agree and hope that it doesn't come to that
putin's state tv news service is constantly threating to use nukes on berlin, washington, london, etc.
really stupid agitprop, which probably means he won't use them
he has stated he will not, but he has zero credibility
veiled nuclear blackmail is his security blanket
caving to that would set a horrible example



We need to launch an intense "Operation Tokyo Rose" and make sure the military knows they're killing civilians and also dying a lot. Maybe we are. 
miamizsun

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Location: (3261.3 Miles SE of RP)
Gender: Male


Posted: Jan 27, 2023 - 8:57am

 black321 wrote:

and that's when things can get real scary. 
but, personally don't see that happening. 



i agree and hope that it doesn't come to that
putin's state tv news service is constantly threating to use nukes on berlin, washington, london, etc.
really stupid agitprop, which probably means he won't use them
he has stated he will not, but he has zero credibility
veiled nuclear blackmail is his security blanket
caving to that would set a horrible example




black321

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Location: An earth without maps
Gender: Male


Posted: Jan 27, 2023 - 8:48am

 miamizsun wrote:


just an observation
putin/russia are on the offensive, they are the aggressors/invaders
they know for now that ukraine won't deliberately target infrastructure and innocent civilians in russia
in other words ukraine is fighting from a limited defensive position
putin can sit back and bomb when he has the weapons and not have to worry about the fight coming to his turf
so he has little to no interest in negotiations or peace talks and he squelches any anti-war protests/talks by force and intimidation
there is no parity...yet
but there may come a time/point when the powers that be may be willing to stop his murderous assault by lending ukraine weapons to defend herself by going on a limited offensive
we'll see



and that's when things can get real scary. 
but, personally don't see that happening. 

miamizsun

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Location: (3261.3 Miles SE of RP)
Gender: Male


Posted: Jan 27, 2023 - 8:36am

 black321 wrote:


Seeing headlines today about this very fact; Russia dig in for Long War. 


just an observation
putin/russia are on the offensive, they are the aggressors/invaders
they know for now that ukraine won't deliberately target infrastructure and innocent civilians in russia
in other words ukraine is fighting from a limited defensive position
putin can sit back and bomb when he has the weapons and not have to worry about the fight coming to his turf
so he has little to no interest in negotiations or peace talks and he squelches any anti-war protests/talks by force and intimidation
there is no parity...yet
but there may come a time/point when the powers that be may be willing to stop his murderous assault by lending ukraine weapons to defend herself by going on a limited offensive
we'll see


black321

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Location: An earth without maps
Gender: Male


Posted: Jan 27, 2023 - 6:55am

 Red_Dragon wrote:


Yes, it's pretty certain at this point that Russia cannot win, but they can make things awful for some time.


Seeing headlines today about this very fact; Russia dig in for Long War. 
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