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Thread: Kremlin: Crimea and Sevastopol are now part of Russia, not Ukraine

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    Re: Kremlin: Crimea and Sevastopol are now part of Russia, not Ukraine

    Quote Originally Posted by Montecresto View Post
    Funny! As though Western countries respect international law.
    They certainly do moreso than their adversaries.

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    Re: Kremlin: Crimea and Sevastopol are now part of Russia, not Ukraine

    Quote Originally Posted by notquiteright View Post

    Remember the Ukraine was NOT invaded.
    Then who is it hiding their faces, carrying weapons, and shooting at the Ukrainian people? Are you saying it is other Ukrainians?

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    Re: Kremlin: Crimea and Sevastopol are now part of Russia, not Ukraine

    Quote Originally Posted by apdst View Post
    Russia went to the UN to get authorization to invade Crimea?
    It's only the US who needs permission from the UN.

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    Re: Kremlin: Crimea and Sevastopol are now part of Russia, not Ukraine

    Quote Originally Posted by Montecresto View Post
    Nuland went to the UN to get permission to replace the elected president of Ukraine?
    The United States didn't replace anyone. That was the Ukrainian people.
    Quote Originally Posted by Top Cat View Post
    At least Bill saved his transgressions for grown women. Not suggesting what he did was OK. But he didn't chase 14 year olds.

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    Re: Kremlin: Crimea and Sevastopol are now part of Russia, not Ukraine

    Quote Originally Posted by Montecresto View Post
    Nuland went to the UN to get permission to replace the elected president of Ukraine?
    Nuland doesn't need permission from anyone. The Great Cookie Monster just grabs wrongdoers by the throat, throws them into the street and tells them never to return again. Putin may be next.

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    Re: Kremlin: Crimea and Sevastopol are now part of Russia, not Ukraine

    Quote Originally Posted by donsutherland1 View Post
    That may well be the case. Even then, it is very unlikely that the figure would approach $1 trillion per year.
    Currently total defense outlays approach a trillion a year. In order to do what you purpose properly, I you have to keep the size of the military at current levels at least, if not increase it. Then you need to beef up all those areas in Europe that are not up to task. So yeah, I think you are likely looking at one trillion, if not more. But that's just my speculation.

    What's for sure is that US cannot continue to spend one trillion dollars a year on defense.

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    Re: Kremlin: Crimea and Sevastopol are now part of Russia, not Ukraine

    Quote Originally Posted by Grant View Post
    Then who is it hiding their faces, carrying weapons, and shooting at the Ukrainian people? Are you saying it is other Ukrainians?
    CON game- where are the Russian soldiers? NOT in the Ukraine but the Crimea.

    Is the Crimea a province of the Ukraine? NO it is a semi autonomous region attach administratively to the Ukraine in the very recent past.

    Did the Russian troops invade? NO they were already in the Crimea BEFORE any crisis due to a treaty with the Ukraine.

    While many pictures exist of winter weather uniformed troops there are as many of uncovered faces.

    But bless your leedle heart you sure try and distort the facts....

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    Re: Kremlin: Crimea and Sevastopol are now part of Russia, not Ukraine

    Quote Originally Posted by donsutherland1 View Post
    Anchoring foreign policy to the nation's critical interests and focusing on those interests and strategic allies should reduce the risk of "militarism." Such a policy would largely exclude the use of military force for events that fall outside of those parameters. It would also encourage the more robust use of soft power (diplomacy, economic/technical/financial assistance, etc.) in the other cases where military options are not pursued and interests that fall short of critical ones are involved.

    In the longer-run, deterrence should result in lower costs than would otherwise be the case. Where deterrence fails, conflicts can erupt and conflicts are far costlier than deterrence. Putting aside political arguments concerning the recent war in Iraq, there's little question that on a present value basis, the costs of the war were vastly higher than those associated with maintaining the prior containment regime. Moreover, the human costs were also vastly higher. Furthermore, following the war, one found that the containment regime had worked remarkably well as Iraq had been deterred from relaunching its WMD activities.
    What? 4,000 U.S. deaths, hundreds of billions of dollars spent, tens of thousands of dead Iraqi's, Iran has far more influence in Iraq then before the invasion, both gays and women in Iraq now have far less rights then before, huge sectarian violence, iffy power grid...and all of that was to stop a WMD program that no longer existed?
    That is your idea of money/lives well spent?
    Iraq was a gigantic failure. So has been Afghanistan. When U.S. Troops leave, the country will probably go back to just about where it was before...Taliban dominated south, a loose group running the north (Northern Alliance). And all for what...more brave, dead Americans and more hundreds of billions of tax dollars wasted.
    This is the kind of Neo-con nonsense I am talking about.


    Democratic movements have largely internal origins. The fallacy that has influenced American foreign policy since at least the time of President Woodrow Wilson is the idea that all peoples everywhere want democracy. The quest for individual freedom has been a strong one throughout history, but that quest is not exactly the same thing as desiring democracy. Moreover, the aspirations of people are, in part, a function of a society's structure (institutions, economics, culture, etc.) and history. The fundamental Sunni-Shia divide is part of the reason one has witnessed illiberal regimes in the Middle East. The peoples see things as a zero-sum game where one faction can only gain at the expense of the other (no "win-win" conceptions) and that strong rule is required to prevent societal fragmentation along sectarian lines. Western idealism assumes that authoritarian rule is largely an accident and that "regime change" can, therefore, quickly allow for democratic forces to take hold. The evidence has not been kind to that assumption.

    There's also a tendency for the U.S. to view others as we view ourselves. Hence, the sectarian uprising that followed what had been protests for democracy was quickly lumped in as a democratic revolution in the tradition of the American revolution, democratic yearning in Eastern Europe during the Soviet era, etc. The reality is that a repressed majority was simply seeking to gain control over a brutal minority-led regime. Consistent with ethnic conflicts, brutality was in abundance and liberal ideals concerning humanitarian protections were discarded to the greatest extent possible.
    Regional uprisings were quickly coined the "Arab Spring" in an analogy to the democratic Prague Spring. Not surprisingly, given the region's structural and historical context, the democratic illusions have proved largely unfounded.

    The focus on national interests and strategic allies would preclude the use of force in such situations. Diplomacy and other non-military programs could "test" possible democratic aspirations, give support to genuine movements, and limit the risks should those movements prove less than democratic.

    In terms of Saudi Arabia, among other non-democratic states, the U.S. has to deal with the world as it is. The U.S. can't dissociate from dealing with such governments when U.S. interests are at stake. To do so would simply be the other side of the coin of military interventions in the name of ideals. In this case, the U.S. would refuse to engage in relationships in the name of ideals. Both approaches are extreme polar opposites. Constructive relationships are often necessary in advancing the nation's interests and promoting stability. Of course, the U.S. can and should use its soft power to encourage improved human rights, etc., and influence the factors that might lead to a more favorable climate for democracy. The latter would require a lot of time and patience, as societal structures evolve slowly.
    You are looking at things in either-or terms...you are not looking underneath.

    Saudi Arabia runs a horrific regime that is one if the most backwards in the world (women are not even allowed to drive)...and America props it all up. And it is totally wasteful as less then 16% of U.S. oil imports come from Saudi Arabia (and less then 25% from all Persian Gulf nations). America does not need the Saudi's NEARLY as much as the Saudi's need America.

    U.S. Total Crude Oil and Products Imports


    Prove to me - using links to UNBIASED facts/stats, not opinions - that America would be worse off were her military budget 1/2 of what it is today.

    Not with theories and conjecture...using ONLY unbiased facts/figures.

    We both know you cannot.

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    Re: Kremlin: Crimea and Sevastopol are now part of Russia, not Ukraine

    Quote Originally Posted by donsutherland1 View Post
    Continued...



    There's little question that QE has impacted asset prices (equties and real estate) and that U.S. interest rates are historically low for now. Even if the Fed had not hinted at possible rate hikes down the road, one should not assume that the anomalous low rates would continue indefinitely. Individuals, businesses, and policy makers should all have reasonable ideas as to how they would cope in an environment where interest rates returned to at least the long-run historical average. Policy makers will need to consider the whole budget, not just discretionary spending, in their analysis and that will mean trying to find ways to rein in the rapid growth of health expenditures and consideration of mandatory spending reforms. It will likely require some degree of tax hikes to bridge the gap between spending-related savings and policy needs. Increasing the nation's long-run economic growth rate can help, but doing so is not simply a matter of corporate tax rates as some politicians suggest. The complex interaction of an educated workforce, investments in research and development and more broadly innovation/improvement, global macroeconomic developments, changing demographics, etc., all have an impact. Arguably, the issue of current corporate tax rates could be fairly inconsequential in that larger scheme. In other words, even if the corporate rates were reduced to 0%, the impact on long-run growth would be fairly modest, because the marginal returns from the current level would be small unlike if one were reducing rates from a much higher level. Having said this, the U.S. still has a foundation and opportunity for economic strength. The choices it makes going forward (private and public sectors) will determine how much of that opportunity is leveraged and whether that foundation is strengthened or eroded.
    No offense, but you talk like a politician.

    So your solution to financing a vast military industrial complex is to - what a shock coming from a conservative - cut social programs and raise taxes if the former is not enough. And how has that worked out?

    The solution is to, IMO, balance the budget by cutting military expenditures AND social programs about equally, reduce the Fed mandate to ONLY inflation/deflation monitoring - no more 'full employment' mandate, end corporate taxes, simplify personal taxes with a flat tax (over an $8-10,000 0% rate) with no deductions (except for charitable contributions) and no difference between capital gains and income tax rates and have the government stay out of 'stimulating' the economy (no bailouts, stimuli, extended unemployment benefits, mark-to-market rule changes, too-big-to-fail).



    I don't favor "policing the world." The goal for me would be a narrower one: a capacity to safeguard the nation's critical interests and strategic allies and perhaps deal with genuine cases of genocide (as defined under the Convention on Genocide; neither Syria nor Libya would fit that definition). Those allies would also make a reasonable contribution, of course. Whether one is dealing with the neoconservative proposition of using military power to advance the sphere of democracy or the recent liberal notion of a "responsibility to protect," both approaches would overextend the nation if adopted literally. A degree of balance is needed and I believe the focus I suggested would strike a balance albeit an imperfect one. Power (military and economic) is a scarce resource and it should be used wisely. Overextension can only erode that power.
    I say America should mind her own business except when large genocide or wars between countries takes place.

    And it is impossible to prove that America would not be far better off if she followed this.

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    Re: Kremlin: Crimea and Sevastopol are now part of Russia, not Ukraine

    Quote Originally Posted by DA60 View Post
    What? 4,000 U.S. deaths, hundreds of billions of dollars spent, tens of thousands of dead Iraqi's, Iran has far more influence in Iraq then before the invasion, both gays and women in Iraq now have far less rights then before, huge sectarian violence, iffy power grid...and all of that was to stop a WMD program that no longer existed?
    That is your idea of money/lives well spent?
    Either you misunderstood me or I was not sufficiently clear. My reference to the Containment regime concerned the policies that were in place prior to the war (select sanctions, limited no fly zones, etc.). I believe that approach was preferable to the war.

    The post-war outcome showed that Containment was less costly than the war (in terms of financial and human costs), less disruptive to regional stability (didn't alter the region's balance of power vis-a-vis Iran), and was highly effective in deterring Iraq from pursuing WMD (Iraq had not restarted WMD-related activities).

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