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Russo-Ukrainian war: Strategic and economic theatres

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  • Originally posted by Albany Rifles View Post

    Thanks Steve


    Now will you tell that to my wife?
    If she's anything like my wife and most of my colleagues if she's not working she'll secretly be relieved. (Since it means you won't be sitting around the house making the place look messy for a little while yet.) Oh and on the other hand if your wife still works and you really want to fully enjoy the start of our retirement? The consensus seems to be that you should fully support your beloveds desire to continue in employment for as long as she wants.
    If you are emotionally invested in 'believing' something is true you have lost the ability to tell if it is true.

    Comment


    • Originally posted by Monash View Post

      If she's anything like my wife and most of my colleagues if she's not working she'll secretly be relieved. (Since it means you won't be sitting around the house making the place look messy for a little while yet.) Oh and on the other hand if your wife still works and you really want to fully enjoy the start of our retirement? The consensus seems to be that you should fully support your beloveds desire to continue in employment for as long as she wants.
      She retired initially summer of 2018...and then immediately failed. She went back to work part time as a teacher at the School of Nursing...and part time was defined as 32 hours a week.

      She finally called it quits in Spring 2021. I'm still teleworking so I am tucked away in a cubby hole upstairs. So far, I have managed to stay out of her hair.
      “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
      Mark Twain

      Comment


      • Originally posted by Albany Rifles View Post

        She retired initially summer of 2018...and then immediately failed. She went back to work part time as a teacher at the School of Nursing...and part time was defined as 32 hours a week.

        She finally called it quits in Spring 2021. I'm still teleworking so I am tucked away in a cubby hole upstairs. So far, I have managed to stay out of her hair.
        Wait till you start having the 'what are you doing' conversation! You; Exactly what I wanted to do - Nothing. So please stop interrupting me! Or the ever popular 'where are we going? You; What is this 'we' business you speak of woman. I'm going to the tackle shop.

        Let the games begin!
        If you are emotionally invested in 'believing' something is true you have lost the ability to tell if it is true.

        Comment


        • Originally posted by Monash View Post

          If she's anything like my wife and most of my colleagues if she's not working she'll secretly be relieved. (Since it means you won't be sitting around the house making the place look messy for a little while yet.) Oh and on the other hand if your wife still works and you really want to fully enjoy the start of our retirement? The consensus seems to be that you should fully support your beloveds desire to continue in employment for as long as she wants.
          When I was playing cricket more than one older member retired, only to have their wives promptly unretire them. Turns out that having one day of the weekend to do as they pleased was more enjoyable than having hubby hanging around.
          sigpic

          Win nervously lose tragically - Reds C C

          Comment


          • Originally posted by Bigfella View Post

            When I was playing cricket more than one older member retired, only to have their wives promptly unretire them. Turns out that having one day of the weekend to do as they pleased was more enjoyable than having hubby hanging around.
            Twas ever thus!
            If you are emotionally invested in 'believing' something is true you have lost the ability to tell if it is true.

            Comment


            • Originally posted by Monash View Post

              Wait till you start having the 'what are you doing' conversation! You; Exactly what I wanted to do - Nothing. So please stop interrupting me! Or the ever popular 'where are we going? You; What is this 'we' business you speak of woman. I'm going to the tackle shop.

              Let the games begin!
              Well, I am a volunteer once a month at a Civil War Battlefield and will ramp that up to once a week and add a second battlefield to the list.

              I also have a book I've been waiting to write on Civil War regiment from New York. All are endeavors she wants nothing to do with!
              “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
              Mark Twain

              Comment


              • Originally posted by Albany Rifles View Post

                Well, I am a volunteer once a month at a Civil War Battlefield and will ramp that up to once a week and add a second battlefield to the list.

                I also have a book I've been waiting to write on Civil War regiment from New York. All are endeavors she wants nothing to do with!
                Well I won't consider retiring until at least the age of 77, maybe, and I'll still be working on the Hornet about 2-3 days a week then instead of Saturday only.

                Comment


                • Originally posted by tbm3fan View Post

                  Well I won't consider retiring until at least the age of 77, maybe, and I'll still be working on the Hornet about 2-3 days a week then instead of Saturday only.
                  I've been in or worked for the Army since August 1976. 48 years is enough!
                  “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
                  Mark Twain

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by Albany Rifles View Post

                    Well, I am a volunteer once a month at a Civil War Battlefield and will ramp that up to once a week and add a second battlefield to the list.

                    I also have a book I've been waiting to write on Civil War regiment from New York. All are endeavors she wants nothing to do with!
                    Well, that should at least reduce the chances of civil war inside the AR home I guess.
                    If you are emotionally invested in 'believing' something is true you have lost the ability to tell if it is true.

                    Comment


                    • Is the economic war against Putin working?

                      What’s happening
                      When Russia invaded Ukraine last February, the United States and its Western allies swiftly put in place an unprecedentedly harsh series of sanctions designed to isolate the Russian economy from the rest of the world and undercut Russian President Vladimir Putin’s ability to fund his war effort.

                      At the time, President Biden said the sanctions — which targeted everything from Russia’s fossil fuel industry to its financial sector and individuals with ties to the Kremlin — would “impose severe costs” on the Russian economy. At first, that appeared to be happening. Russia’s currency, the ruble, abruptly dropped in value, citizens swamped banks looking to withdraw cash and hundreds of international companies ended their operations in the country. Forecasts predicted that Russia’s economy would contract dramatically in the intervening months, with some economists saying it would collapse entirely.

                      But a year later, Russia is in much stronger shape than many had predicted. The ruble has regained its value. Russia’s oil exports, the lifeblood of its economy, have stayed steady as countries like China, India and Turkey have bought up supplies that used to go to Europe. The standard of living for everyday Russians hasn’t changed. Most important, Putin’s war machine has the funding to continue its assault on Ukraine.

                      Why there’s debate
                      Russia’s surprising ability to endure the West’s economic assault during the past year has fueled debate over whether the sanctions — which have caused a huge disruption to global markets, especially energy — are working at all.

                      Optimists say disappointment about the impact of sanctions largely comes from misconceptions about what they’re designed to do. They argue that no level of economic punishment was ever going to win the war or lead to Putin’s being ousted from power. The real goal, many say, is to slowly chip away at Russia’s economic stability until it becomes increasingly difficult to fund the war and Russian citizens gradually start to feel the costs of the conflict.

                      Many experts see signs that Russia is quickly exhausting the emergency measures it used to keep itself afloat, which could lead to a serious decline over the next year. Others say the sanctions have dramatically undercut Russia’s long-term economic prospects, which will steadily decrease Putin’s power on the global stage in the coming years and decades.

                      But pessimists fear that Russia is well positioned to weather the sanctions for as long as it needs, thanks to its powerful trading partners, its ability to evade lax enforcement and the West’s reluctance to risk creating a spike in energy prices by aggressively targeting Russia’s oil and gas industries. There’s also danger, some argue, that the focus on sanctions might draw attention away from the most important thing Ukraine’s allies should be doing: pouring in huge amounts of military and financial support so the war can be won on the battlefield.

                      What’s next
                      Despite differing opinions on the sanctions’ effectiveness, the U.S. and its allies have shown no signs they might change course anytime soon. In fact, a new slate of restrictions put in place last week is designed to close loopholes that have allowed Russia to get around existing sanctions during the past year.

                      Perspectives

                      OPTIMISTS

                      Sanctions are fulfilling their true purpose

                      “The confusion around the effectiveness of sanctions stems from a lack of clarity about their goals. … First, Western countries are trying to send a strong signal of resolve and unity to the Kremlin. Second, sanctioning states aim to degrade Russia’s ability to wage war. Third, Western democracies are betting that sanctions will slowly asphyxiate the Russian economy and in particular the country’s energy sector. When judged on the basis of these criteria, sanctions are clearly working.” — Agathe Demarais, Foreign Policy

                      The U.S. and its allies can make sanctions work if they’re willing to be more aggressive

                      “It’s very possible that sanctions will bite harder, revenue from oil and gas will decline further, the deficit will go deeper, and Russia’s battlefield resources will be stretched to breaking point. How quickly that happens will depend on persistence in the West, where lax enforcement and deliberate evasion have helped Russia over the past year.” — Adam Taylor, Washington Post

                      The Russian people will soon start to feel the cost of the war personally

                      “The war chest the Kremlin built up is depleting. … The escalating costs of the war are forcing the regime to make deeper cuts and will eventually hit even social spending, making it more vulnerable to public discontent from both the top and the bottom.” — Editorial, Bloomberg

                      Russia’s place on the global stage has permanently diminished

                      “A year after Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, some cynics lament that the unprecedented economic pressure campaign against Russia has not yet ended the Putin regime. What they’re missing is the transformation that has happened right before our eyes: Russia has become an economic afterthought and a deflated world power.” — Jeffrey Sonnenfeld and Steven Tian, Fortune

                      Putin has grossly underestimated the West’s commitment to punishing Russia

                      “Of course, this war is still far from over, and we will likely experience many more disruptions caused by it in the near future. But it is increasingly looking like the beginning of the end for Putin’s ambitions to uproot the world economic order.” — Maximilian Hess, Al Jazeera

                      Russia’s economic lifelines are going to start running out

                      “The Russian government has spent money hand over fist in 2022 to prop up the economy and try to neutralize the worst impacts of Western sanctions. … The Russian economy has begun to look like a leaky ship. All hands are on deck bailing it out, but at some point, they won’t be able to keep up.” — Brian O’Toole and Daniel Fried, Atlantic Council

                      PESSIMISTS

                      As long as the war continues, no effort to counter Russia can be considered a success

                      “If the goal of the most ambitious economic sanctions regime in modern history was to end the conflict by defunding Vladimir Putin’s war machine, the mission obviously has failed. Indeed, the Western alliance has proved that armed conflict cannot be brought to an end with economic weapons alone.” — David Olive, Toronto Star

                      Western countries have been too weak to make the sanctions effective

                      “​​The most significant roadblock to sanctions being effective is the failure of Western governments to use their full diplomatic leverage to pressure many governments to cease trading with Russia or allow their banks and corporations to continue doing business in Russia. This failure continues to make life harder for Ukrainians as the war goes on.” — Frank Vogl, Inkstick

                      Sanctions are creating zero pressure on Putin at home

                      “Despite all the media reports of doom and gloom as a result of western sanctions, everything works just as before. Domestic banking is working, salaries and pensions are paid on time, ubiquitous e-commerce is bustling with activity, the shops are stuffed with food and consumer goods. In St Petersburg, at least, I’ve struggled to notice any change in daily life compared to January 2021.” — Alexander Titov, Conversation

                      Sanctions are an afterthought compared to the direct support Ukraine needs

                      “Perhaps the most urgent lesson of the sanctions’ limited effects is what they make us miss: the dire economic position of Ukraine and what the West can do to shore it up. For all the attention lavished on sanctions, they are a sideshow and not the main arena in which Ukraine’s future will be determined.” — Nicholas Mulder, New York Times

                      The costs to the U.S. and Europe shouldn’t be ignored

                      “This mode of economic warfare inflicts penalties on the perpetrator of a kind escaped by the latter’s military counterparts. … Putin has been derided for his misplaced assumption that his small invasion force could seize control of Kiev in a coup de main. Biden and his advisers thought that ‘shock and awe’ would bring swift victory. That may have been an even more serious mistake.” — Andrew Cockburn, Responsible Statecraft

                      China has given Russia a way to survive economically

                      “China, which has declared ‘no limits’ to its friendship with its northern neighbor, has thrown the Kremlin an economic lifeline, tempering the impact of its banishment from the global financial system.” — Laura He, CNN
                      _________
                      “He was the most prodigious personification of all human inferiorities. He was an utterly incapable, unadapted, irresponsible, psychopathic personality, full of empty, infantile fantasies, but cursed with the keen intuition of a rat or a guttersnipe. He represented the shadow, the inferior part of everybody’s personality, in an overwhelming degree, and this was another reason why they fell for him.”

                      Comment


                      • Article from Reuters on decision by Russia to mothball all Nord Stream gas pipelines and the status of its gas sales to Europe.

                        https://www.reuters.com/business/ene...es-2023-03-03/
                        If you are emotionally invested in 'believing' something is true you have lost the ability to tell if it is true.

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by TopHatter View Post
                          Why there’s debate
                          There is no debate and our sanctions CANNOT work. We did the same thing to Japan during WWII and guess what? They launched a war against us. And the Russians ain't even wanting to goto war with us.

                          Chimo

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
                            There is no debate and our sanctions CANNOT work. We did the same thing to Japan during WWII and guess what? They launched a war against us. And the Russians ain't even wanting to goto war with us.
                            There is evidence that the Russian economy is contracting but part of the problem is that Russia has stopped producing key economic statistics required by the World Bank and IMF etc to produce forecasts. What definitely shouldn't be done is taking Russia's pronouncements on how well it's economy is doing and how ineffective the sanctions are as gospel. Far from it in fact. Best estimates I've seen suggest the economy will have contracted in size by the end of this year by up to 7% over 2021 levels. That's a significant contraction, well into severe recession territory. The problem is though that so far the war is masking some of the worst effects because government spending on the war effort is substituting for private expenditure and the draft is reducing unemployment. Basically the war has forced the Russian government into conducting a huge exercise in Keynesian pump priming. Which it can afford to do - for now

                            But for a start the sanctions are already hindering its ability to reequip its army and air force. It can, over time ramp up domestic production but the gear it produces will at best be 90s level technology and it can forget Putin's dream projects like the Armata and SU 35 etc ever becoming reality in anything but tiny numbers for the next decade or so. The government is also burning through its cash reserves at a fast rate. Oh, no mistake it can afford to fund the war at present rates for 3-4 years at least and still not run out of cash.

                            However even if the war ended tomorrow Putin then has to fund his post war rebuilding efforts using those same reserves because oil and gas exports have been throttled and something like 40% of the Russian governments tax revenue comes from those exports. And there's no way to reverse that problem without first building a massive new infrastructure network into Asia to replace lost sales to Europe. From estimates I've seen that will take about 10 years - if they can be financed. Make no mistake those cash reserves are still going to be called on once the war is over.

                            You can see the problem. Russia's biggest strength have been the huge stockpiles of surplus cash generated by it's oil and gas sales. It can fund the war for some time yet but then it also has to fund the peace unless it can get the sanctions withdrawn. This means the USD 3 billion?? in seized assets the West is holding and the sanctions themselves are going to be a very, very valuable bargaining chips in any peace deal and whatever happens the Russian economy is going to have severe problems for many years yet.
                            Last edited by Monash; 04 Mar 23,, 04:14.
                            If you are emotionally invested in 'believing' something is true you have lost the ability to tell if it is true.

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by Monash View Post
                              So you start to see the problem
                              And I also see the solution. Putin has termed this as a course of national survival ... and the Russian population agrees. And put it bluntly, it ain't even close to what the current Russian generation has gone through. They deemed the price to be cheap .... far cheaper than what WWII Japan was willing and did pay .... which was far less that what WWII USSR paid,

                              To put it bluntly, Russia can afford it.

                              Chimo

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
                                And I also see the solution. Putin has termed this as a course of national survival ... and the Russian population agrees. And put it bluntly, it ain't even close to what the current Russian generation has gone through. They deemed the price to be cheap .... far cheaper than what WWII Japan was willing and did pay .... which was far less that what WWII USSR paid,

                                To put it bluntly, Russia can afford it.
                                And I've no problem with them 'affording it' if by that you mean enduring the consequences and going on with their lives normal lives. I'm sure they will . The problem as I see it is that the damage that's been done by the war to its economy and society are attritional and cumulative. And will continue to be for a generation. Sans Putin agreeing to terms the Ukraine and the West find acceptable the status quo re sanctions on trade, travel and technology etc can remain in pace indefinitely. This is because Western economies and businesses that were heavily invested in trade with Russia has already taken the hit on their bottom lines that came from imposing the sanctions in the first place.

                                Economically the West doesn't need Russia to prosper, It's economy is what? 5% the size of America's and the EU's combined? Add in all the other allied economies - Canada, Australia, Korea, and Japan etc and it's chicken feed so isolating ourselves from Russia economically will have little adverse impact. For Russia the long term consequences however are severe. Their economy will never have the opportunities for growth and development that it otherwise would. And neither will the Russian people. I don't see an NK like starvation state ever developing but I do see everyone but it's elites stagnating economically if sanctions etc aren't dropped.
                                Last edited by Monash; 04 Mar 23,, 04:38.
                                If you are emotionally invested in 'believing' something is true you have lost the ability to tell if it is true.

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