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Thread: The 2016 US General Election

  1. #2851
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    snapper,

    I agree by and large by the question is how much of this is due to Obama rather than Muscovite mistakes and the answer would arguably be none of it.
    thanks for re-centering this. the original argument is that Putin is a better leader than Obama. my assertion is that Russian strategy has fundamentally failed, and that Putin at BEST has ameliorated the worst effects of the failure. i'm not discussing Obama at this point.

    he has, at very high cost to his state, prevented Georgia and Ukraine from formally joining NATO. which was the default state of affairs when they were puppets to begin with, and rather more friendly to Russia to boot.

    more fundamentally, the internal steps Putin has taken is in effect a double-down of making Russia a petro state. given long-term trends in oil this is not a winning proposition-- especially as Russia's population has shrunk about 5% in the last generation...and will likely shrink by another 10-15% in the next.

    this is not a Deng Xiaoping we're talking about here.
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

  2. #2852
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    Quote Originally Posted by TopHatter View Post
    Why are there Dragoon Rides in the first place? Weren't we pivoting toward the Pacific?
    The Dragoon Rides are mere dog and pony shows. No one is abandoning the agreement with Russia that the big NATO powers will not station permanent troops in Eastern Europe.
    Chimo

  3. #2853
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    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    more fundamentally, the internal steps Putin has taken is in effect a double-down of making Russia a petro state. given long-term trends in oil this is not a winning proposition-- especially as Russia's population has shrunk about 5% in the last generation...and will likely shrink by another 10-15% in the next.

    this is not a Deng Xiaoping we're talking about here.
    I question your assertion that Putin would have been better off by diversifying his economy. In fact, I argue if he followed your suggestion, he would have been worst shape setting up the Russian economy to suffer even worst under sanctions. At the very least, the West do not control oil prices and he's open to sell to anyone who will buy and not afraid of sanctions on his oil.

    In 2008, both the Ukraines and Georgia were openly seeking NATO membership. He stopped that cold.
    Chimo

  4. #2854
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    col,

    I question your assertion that Putin would have been better off by diversifying his economy. In fact, I argue if he followed your suggestion, he would have been worst shape setting up the Russian economy to suffer even worst under sanctions. At the very least, the West do not control oil prices and he's open to sell to anyone who will buy and not afraid of sanctions on his oil.
    i'd argue that diversification of the economy would make sanctions harder to implement-- both sides would have more to lose. moreover, he's putting all his eggs in the petro basket, which due to bigger swings in pricing hurts more than sanctions could due to single-point failure. IE, the recent sanctions were hard hitting but it was the extra 10-20% on top of the main damage caused by the oil.

    and it's not long-term thinking, either. even if diversification were to cause more short-term damage, the idea would be that in the long-term you're not going to be stuck in an oil trap.

    and that's precisely what's going to happen; the next innovations in tech will likely promote efficiency. there's going to be a glut of oil for a long time to come, and depressed oil prices. the West, and more specifically America, now DOES have a huge effect on oil prices; that's why there was an oil shock. American and Canadian shale flooding the market and paralyzing OPEC.

    for practical intents and purposes there's a permanent $50-60 per barrel ceiling on oil (it is currently at $47 and even then US still finds it profitable to add rigs). Russia's breakeven is $100 per barrel and she's rapidly burning through her reserves to sustain things, even with drastic cuts and huge tax increases.

    this is a strategic threat to Russia and there's dick all he's doing about it.
    Last edited by astralis; 12 Sep 16, at 16:28.
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

  5. #2855
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    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    i'd argue that diversification of the economy would make sanctions harder to implement-- both sides would have more to lose. moreover, he's putting all his eggs in the petro basket, which due to bigger swings in pricing hurts more than sanctions could due to single-point failure. IE, the recent sanctions were hard hitting but it was the extra 10-20% on top of the main damage caused by the oil.
    I think you're forgetting the timeline. This is just 8 years. Hell, just 6 before all the mess in the Ukraines happened. That's barely enough time to put up a factory, tool it, and begin production of whatever widget you want to make. Then you got hit with sanctions that the West can afford, namely because Russia has not become a main supplier of whatever widget, and thus can go somewhere else, maybe even for a cheaper price.

    In the meantime, you saw all that hardwork of keeping the Ukraines out of NATO just got tossed out the window when Putin's thug in Kiev had to run for his life.
    Chimo

  6. #2856
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    col,

    hell, Deng did half the turnaround in eight years, from a far lower base. remember, 1989 was caused by overinflation and the beginnings of the Chinese economic boom. Deng pretty much told the PLA to eat budget cuts because he was -that- determined to use the money to turn his country around.

    what is Putin doing?

    he's trying to play out of his league, and the associated costs will dent the Russian economy and power, not just in the short-term but the long. how's Russia going to sustain this with a population 15% smaller and poorer than today's?
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

  7. #2857
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    to summarize as this argument thread is getting longish:

    Putin had a golden period of abnormally high oil prices from 2001-2008. during this time period, several Russian puppets were run out of town and turned into Western-friendly countries. he has in effect been using his reserves from that period to crush internal opposition and ensure that those new Western-friendly countries don't go outright Western.

    it's now 2016 and those reserves are now more than half gone, burned through in less than two years. oil prices will not be anywhere close to break even for Putin for the foreseeable future. so, this is great leadership how?
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

  8. #2858
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    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    hell, Deng did half the turnaround in eight years, from a far lower base. remember, 1989 was caused by overinflation and the beginnings of the Chinese economic boom. Deng pretty much told the PLA to eat budget cuts because he was -that- determined to use the money to turn his country around.
    The cost was also 30,000 lives; China effectively surrounded; and be the very good little boy to both the US and the USSR. Hell, China even had to cancel the sale of 8 J-7s to the USN AGGRESSOR Squadron because Moscow said no. China had to surrender her client, Cambodia, to Vietnam.

    You think Putin can surrender the Ukraines or Georgia to the US?

    And frankly, Putin is not even a quarter of the thug that DXP was.
    Last edited by Officer of Engineers; 12 Sep 16, at 17:02.
    Chimo

  9. #2859
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    What Russian puppets were run out of town between 2001 and 2008?

    How is any of this WORSE than the nations added to NATO, which started in 1999, and more or less on schedule through the First Bush Term, about which Putin could do nothing?

    Russia has a crappy hand. That Putin is not World Emperor is not a reflection of Putin's skills. Russian relations with all non-European nations are dramatically better than they were when Putin took office. Putin's economic management has ridden out SIX YEARS of recession, whereas the 1998 crisis basically destroyed the nation in a matter of months. Putin has rebuffed all NATO advancement. Putin has chased NATO out of Central Asia at virtually no cost to himself. Putin kept his stooge in Syria in place despite the whole world wishing him gone.
    US troops in Europe are at their lowest point since, what, 1941?

    Putin, when he took office, was left with a navy so horrific the Kursk sank on its second voyage. Putin today can sail submarines into Stockholm without punishment and almost without anyone noticing, and can fly intercontinental bombing missions.
    "The great questions of the day will not be settled by means of speeches and majority decisions but by iron and blood"-Otto Von Bismarck

  10. #2860
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    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    snapper,


    thanks for re-centering this. the original argument is that Putin is a better leader than Obama. my assertion is that Russian strategy has fundamentally failed, and that Putin at BEST has ameliorated the worst effects of the failure. i'm not discussing Obama at this point.
    In that context I must agree with you; Putin is all about short term tactical victories - in some ways he has to be - at the expense of any long term strategic gain. 'Leadership' is not about being seen to always do something but about knowing when to do what and when to leave well alone - sitting on ones paws is sometimes the best option and though it may not be as popular as being seen to 'do something' a good leader will sometimes take that option. Sometimes a battle should be refused and there is no dishonour in that, it can be the best option but Putin by having to be seen to always be on the front foot either considers he doesn't have or that option or doesn't understand that sometimes it may be the best option and the result has been tactical victories and strategic loss.

  11. #2861
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    col,

    The cost was also 30,000 lives; China effectively surrounded; and be the very good little boy to both the US and the USSR. Hell, China even had to cancel the sale of 8 J-7s to the USN AGGRESSOR Squadron because Moscow said no. China had to surrender her client, Cambodia, to Vietnam.

    You think Putin can surrender the Ukraines or Georgia to the US?

    And frankly, Putin is not even a quarter of the thug that DXP was.
    and that's precisely my point. DXP took huge, absolutely huge risks to national security-- to include the possibility of war with the USSR-- to ensure China would diversify and transform itself into a modern power over the period of 25 years. he faced down his domestic opponents without the benefit of a huge reserve of petrodollars. he eschewed influence to ensure that China would grow, even happily working with japan to make it happen.

    Russia started from a far higher base-- even 1990s Russia was nothing as f*cked up as 1970s China-- and had the influx of hundreds of billions of dollars thanks to oil. yet Putin's strategy has completely been short-term and reactive, and the costs are adding up. as i said he's eaten through half his reserves and has damned little to show for it. good luck once those reserves peter out...

    http://oilprice.com/Latest-Energy-Ne...hortfalls.html

    and here's the russian problem:

    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-oi...-idUSKCN0ZK1TS
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

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    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    Russia started from a far higher base-- even 1990s Russia was nothing as f*cked up as 1970s China
    Are you kidding me? If anything, it was even more fucked up. 1990s Russia was not even a shadow of the USSR that was there just a year before. Beijing lost a client. Moscow lost the entire country.
    Last edited by Officer of Engineers; 12 Sep 16, at 20:05.
    Chimo

  13. #2863
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    ^ GPCR.

    Russia's GDP per capita in 1990 was $3500/yr.

    China's GDP per capita in 1975 was $175/yr.
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

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    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    ^ GPCR.
    And Zhou En Lai and his protogie won that Civil War and Deng won two more Civil Wars after that and crushed internal dissent with an iron fist that would have made Stalin proud.

    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    Russia's GDP per capita in 1990 was $3500/yr.

    China's GDP per capita in 1975 was $175/yr.
    Russia was barely a country and was in the process of losing Chechnya. All the major accounting and treaty obligations were not finalized which major countries like India defaulting on a few deals because they signed with the USSR and not Russia. The point here is that China was a national unified entity. Russia was not no matter what the GDP says. You can't make deals or decisions if you don't even know if your authority was going to be respected.

    So, DXP was in a position to drag China forward. Boris Yeltsin was not and frankly neither was Putin until his second term when he re-established Moscow's authority.
    Last edited by Officer of Engineers; 12 Sep 16, at 21:03.
    Chimo

  15. #2865
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    both Russia and China were chaotic in the 90s and 60s/70s respectively, I'd argue China had it worse given the number of deaths in the GPCR and the outright internal violence. the three civil wars you point to is evidence of that. a million dead from violence, countless number from famine, and by comparison how bad was Chechnya to that?

    anyways, my one line excepted we're talking about post-chaos strategy. short-term, reactive to long-term, pro-active. the -results- couldn't be more different comparing the two countries today.
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

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