Wednesday, March 12

Russia v NATO: Ukraine, Crimea and the new Cold War.






   Admit it, the second you saw that vid of Russian attack choppers pouring into Crimea, somewhere in the back of your brain you started thinking of nuclear winter, fallout, the best routes out of major population centers and how up-to-date the contents of your bug-out-bag are. Maybe you've got to be a '70s kid and have grown up under the threat of a Warsaw Pact air burst over your local mall to be really jarred by those images, but either way, I sure hit the popcorn pretty hard. Some deep repressed memories perked up when I saw those choppers. It's not often you get to see the Russian Army on the move and the resulting shit storm all over US and European media made for some pretty entertaining TV, especially if you enjoy your talking heads not connected to the reality of the situation in any meaningful way.

   Doesn't anyone on CNN read a history book? If there were truth in news reporting these days someone might admit that Russia pulled a 'smart' maneuver here just like the West did when they secured Iraqi oil, deposed Gaddafi or bombed the rebels in Mali. Russia just joined the club! With nukes in play nobody in the West is going to become embroiled in a Slavic civil war for Ukraine. Right? Let's face it, we just love our post modern self actualizing Twittery, i-Phoney, corporatocracy too damn much to risk our comfort for a bunch of cantankerous Steppe dwellers. 

   The Euros are locked into a co dependent, abusive relationship with Russian oil and gas and the US is way over extended for either to do anything significant about Crimea so Russia gets to keep its new real estate. When you look at it with the cold eyes of realpolitik, Putin pulled off a pretty shrewd maneuver here and the West, despite the outrage on your TV screen, is pissed not because they give a shit about democracy and territorial borders; but because they got outplayed here by Putin and their inability to apply pressure has begun to reveal some frays at the edges of 21st century Western hegemony.

   To see why Putin pulled this rather ballsy gambit into Crimea, all you have to do is consider Russia's strategic position. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Russian bear has watched NATO expand eastwards into its backyard bringing Poland, Latvia and Lithuania into the western fold. Worryingly for Moscow, Ukraine has seen its fair share of Western NGOs, (really just an acronym for foreign political action committees operating inside your border), and slowly pour $5 billion into the system with the aim of tilting the vast bread basket west. 

   You don't hear much about Russian motivation in Western media though.

   For instance, when Western media ran the Nuland leak tape they did so in a way so divorced from the reality on the tape that I had to check the mirror to make sure I was living in the same universe and it all wasn't an acid flashback to the '90s. Here we have two American diplomats, one of them the US ambassador in Kiev, the other the top US diplomat to the EU (and presumably voicing the strategy of Obama's tech nerds) basically plotting a coup d'état against the democratically elected leader of Ukraine. But all of this got ignored when the the story ran and somehow morphed instead into a titilating snippet about how an Obama official said 'fuck the EU'. Meanwhile, the 'news' stayed tightly focused on the armed "democratic protesters" chucking petrol bombs at the cops. Turns out a whole bunch of them are hardcore Nazis and they've already started bullying members of the Ukrainian parliament and people on the streets.

   But this is democracy, right?

   And let's face it, if Occupy Wall Street protesters started lobbing molotovs at the NYPD, they'd have been gunned down with M4s before their idealistic little fingers made it to their Zippo lighters while Fox News ran a donation drive to buy more ammo for the cops. Yet here we have a mass of armed protesters advancing on the Ukrainian equivalent of The White House and word out of Washington and Brussels was more cheering from the sidelines like they're witnessing freedom and democracy on the march. It reminded me of that time during Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003 when looters in Baghdad ran off with priceless Mesopotamian treasure from the national museum and Rumsfeld was pushed in front of the TV cameras to inform us that that's what 'free people do'.

   On both occasions, I nearly threw up in my beer.

   Am I saying Russia had justification for invading Crimea?

   Nope. I'm just saying it was a shrewd move. 

   When the West does it, it's sex, when Russia does it, it's rape. The Russians under Putin have been itching for a chance to rebuild some semblance of the Soviet Empire and bring as many energy rich states into a Eurasian Union to counterbalance the Euros. Seeing Ukraine join the EU and NATO would be far too risky for Putin. The Russians know from history that buffer states and winter are useful allies whenever foreign powers try diplomacy by other means and head for Moscow.

   That's why nabbing back Crimea was a natural play, correcting the 'mistake' Khruschev made in 1954 over vodka when he gave it to Ukraine. Of course, back then this was merely an administrative shuffle because in the heady days of Sputnik, no one ever thought the Soviet Union would collapse and Russia might find itself on the wrong end of the deal. When Russians think of Crimea today they think of cheap holidays in the sun and Sevastapol, home of the Black Sea Fleet. And that fleet is pretty critical to Russian geopolitical ambitions. The naval base there allows Moscow an ice free port to exert influence over the Eastern Mediterranean, the Balkans and the Middle East.

   Although full of aging vessels, the fleet has been earmarked for upgrades, including six new diesel Kilo class subs and some amphibious assault ships with which to press home diplomacy when a little hard pressure is required with uppity neighbors like Georgia. It's also only a few days sailing to Syria where NATO ambitions were stymied in 2013 not least because of Russian machinations.

   Putin grabbed it and let's face it, it's nothing the US wouldn't do. Watching Kerry remark on the Crimean situation last week was a further exercise in the absurd theater of reality. Who writes this shit?  The needle on the hypocrisy meter broke when it tried to push past max level.

   So what are the West going to do about all this?




   
   This is where it gets interesting. Realpolitik is back and the US is going to have to adjust. The instability in Ukraine exacerbated by a tanked economy allowed Putin to pull this deft move without firing a shot. A remarkable gain considering its two million population and powerful position in the Black Sea. The US initially responded with a call for across the board sanctions which Germany instantly rejected because their economy needs all that sweet Russian energy. The trouble is, unlike China, Russia exports raw materials and energy and advanced Eurozone economies mold that into machines. So for the EU at least, which does ten times more trade with Russia than the US, sanctions are a non starter.

   The new idea this week is 'travel bans' on Russian officials which is kind of funny. Looks like those guys will have to go holidaying to the beach resorts of Crimea this summer. Also, there's talk of asset freezes on all that sleazy Russian money holed up in Western banks. Of course, Russian dirty money in the 'City of London' is exempt from these asset freezes because of some bullshit reason David Cameron's bankers created out of thin air; but really because those in London's financial center need liquidity and cash is always king, dirty or clean.

   In geopolitics and war, you measure how much you care in blood and treasure.

   And by this metric, the West doesn't care that much. Ukraine is cheap and Crimea is part of the Russian Federation now and it will stay that way. The upcoming referendum is a foregone conclusion, I'm gonna guess a 75% vote for Russia. Of course it's all theater but the Russians have learned from the West how to make invasions look legit.



The older generation celebrates the good ole days after the Crimea vote


   The real question is what happens in Eastern Ukraine and this is what I'm saving the popcorn for. For one thing, Britain, the US and Russia signed the Budapest memorandum in 1994 which guaranteed Ukrainian borders in exchange for them giving up all the nukes left over from the Soviet Union. That sure looks like a shitty deal right now doesn't it? 

  The hard lesson here is... never give up your nukes. 

   Arseniy Yatsenyuk, the interim Ukrainian prime minister, said "If you do not uphold these guarantees which you gave in the Budapest memorandum, then explain how you will convince Iran and North Korea to give up their nuclear status." Note to Mr Yatsenyuk: North Korea has nukes, you don't, so tough shit on that analogy sir, you lost your nuke bargaining chip in the international casino 20 years ago. Also, Iran has the 4th largest oil deposits on the planet and gargantuan natural gas reserves where you have lots of empty fields for growing grass so I'm sorry to inform you sir, but nobody gives a shit. Wheat is cheap right now but oil is precious. Different rules apply.

   If Russia pulls a 'Sudetenland maneuver' and invades Eastern Ukraine to 'liberate' the Russian speakers from Ukrainian tyranny, it sure has the potential to enter the dreaded 'escalatory spiral' where we're talking  full on global confrontation. This is where I see nukes saving us. Like I've said before, nukes are the greatest peace keeping weapons ever invented because Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) is the only logic us upright apes truly understand. In this case, the threat of confrontation will force leaders on all sides to the brokering table. That sure will be a complex deal.

    If Russia pours troops into Eastern Ukraine, it will force the West's hand. Proper economic sanctions, Poland will get their missile defense system and Russia will face growing isolation. If a shooting war starts on the ground (awesome multi spectrum air and land battles on mottled rolling green terrain) I sure would hit popcorn overdose. 







   Still, it's hard to see the Ukrainian Forces putting up a real fight. Sure, the figures above look decent on paper but war is never as simple as how many tanks you've got. The Ukrainian military is suffering very low morale due to the political situation, a low state of readiness and a military that is split between ethnic Ukrainians and Russian speakers. The Ukrainian military is unable to offer a credible deterrent right now.  It's also hard to see the forces on both sides engaging in a savage shooting war. After all, Slav historical ties run deep with Kiev itself being, in most Russians minds, a Russian city. That doesn't mean it can't happen but would Putin be prepared to fight for Ukraine killing fellow Slavs... like the Wehrmacht did?

   And yet still, 220,000 Russian troops, 1800 tanks and 400 attack choppers are engaged in "exercises" on the Ukrainian border. Meanwhile, Crimea just handed over it's navy to the Russian Federation while more troops and equipment arrive daily from the motherland. If the Russians invade they'll try not to fire a shot and annex Eastern Ukraine where the Russian speakers live, draw a line on a map and seek to de escalate. They'll have their buffer zone, the EU can have the bread basket, Poland gets a missile shield and the border becomes a Berlin Wall running along the new border with massive build ups of military forces on both sides.

   It's Cold War Part Deux.

   The beginning lines drawn in a multi polar 21st century.

   All those neoliberal economic ties and global interdependence is supposed to make the 21st century a century where war is impossible outside of the odd Third World resource grab or minor proxy war. Major wars are not supposed to happen say the architects of the new century because we will all buy tonnes of shit from each other and our need for more toys will mean our greed will save us from war.

   I must admit I'm pretty curious to see how that theory works out.

   Russia v Ukraine is surely its first major test.

138 comments:

  1. Thanks for all the support everyone. If this war enters the shooting phase, I'll live blog it every day!

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    1. Interesting thoughts and I'll share a few perceptions as someone who managed Central & Eastern Europe for 8 years and lived in Poland. Putin and his oligarchs stole their resources from the Russian people post USSR - and this was a very ugly affair. Lot's of grabbing, stealing, politicking, and yes - even killing took place for these former soviet bureaucrats to get where they are today - mega-billionaires. And yes sir, Putin's the 'big man' in this highly corrupt environment - carefully and quietly reestablishing his soviet infrastructure and ultimately any territory he can grab. So Crimea is just an externalization of what the 'winners' in Russia have been doing since the 1991 collapse. If you're not sure, just ask Khodokorvsky how the game's played.
      So at this point, Russia is dealing with a bunch of finger waggers - and our own President 'Talking Head' (what a scary guy!!). The Russians will grab everything they think they can get away with here - and they don't appear to be worried/ threatened yet..
      As for Ukraine, while it may not be reflective of their 'sovereignty', letting Crimea and the East go would actually be pretty smart - IF THEY CAN STOP THE RUSSIANS THERE. The country has been split since the soviet collapse between Russians - and the westerners who want true independence from Russia. This is why we get this 'back and forth' between elections. And of course, every time the Russian clan win, they put their adversaries in jail and even 'erase' them where they can. A split Ukraine would allow the soviet lovers a chance to let Mother Russia take care of them - and let the westerners build a true capitalistic democracy - fracking,et al.
      As for Russia, it will be interesting how all of this works out for the petroleum business!?! New technologies are bringing new choices to Europe and the world. This is pivotal since Russia has a truly 'one dimensional' economy: petroleum. We'll see how much Russia looks like Venezuela in the next decade/s.
      And finally as for the 'news media', real news has perished from the United States some decades ago. What we have now are not people who want to inform and allow intelligent people to drawn their own educated conclusions, but rather we have armies of PROPAGANDISTS - who would make Pravda proud. Giving the public real news is not nearly as exciting as going to work every day 'influencing public opinion'. So we have propaganda left and propaganda right - take your choice.
      In closing, what happens in Ukraine is just the beginning: 1) we'll actually find a way to stop them (I doubt we have the leadership or will for that), or 2) we'll be seeing a lot more of the same from Russia -- and China is watching very closely.
      Best wishes to the world as it's truly imperiled by this new era,
      Richard

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    2. That sounds wonderful. The live blog being run on Reddit is an attempt at bad propaganda staged as 'live blog'.

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  2. Outstanding Wartard. It's everything I hoped it would be.

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  3. You make good points on the geo-political issues but I think you make the mistake that a lot of commentators are making in saying that the US is shocked by this move and needs to adjust to the new world order situation. US citizens may be surprised but I think the US govt and military have surely been watching the warning signs.

    Also, while comparing US and Russians military actions may be interesting to a point, the fact is, the US declared war on Iraq and Afghanistan before making its moves. Russia has followed a different course of action which is plainly contradictory to the accepted way of doing business nowadays. Similar strategy China is taking for some of its imperialistic ambitions.

    Ultimately, my point is that perception and diplomacy do have an effect on outcomes. It's a delicate game but it's not all settled with simply pushing around military pieces on the global board. All countries are run according to the needs and dictates of its rich and powerful. That is a vulnerability which can be exploited in this current global market if done right and I think this is the direction the US (if not Europe) is trying to go. Europe has a big stake and responsibility in this and depending on them is where I think things will ultimately fail for the west if actually shooting never starts.

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    1. the US declared war on Iraq and Afghanistan

      some scholar

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    2. The US hasn't declared war since WW2. Both Iraq and Afghanistan were rationalized as security actions.

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    3. Yeah right. Probably got them war degrees online.

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    4. "US citizens may be surprised but I think the US govt and military have surely been watching the warning signs. "

      Well no duh.

      They know the US consumerist paradigm of infinite growth and debt is a dead bridge to nowhere and that the last remaining scraps are to be fought over by the Eurasians.

      "the US the first, and indeed, truly last, global power..." to quote zbigniew brzezinski is exactly right. And our political, industrial, financial, and military appratus is acting as if its true...

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  4. Amazing analysis War Tard. It was worth the wait!

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  5. Dude, I love you. Amazing article again, kicking the shit out of media coverage.

    I think that things will settle, though. The sad reality is that Ukraine is prone to experience such conflict each ~10 years as we saw with the Orange Revolution in 2004. Two different countries packed in one is a no-go.

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  6. Thank you for yet another entertaining and stimulating read.

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  7. You are my hero.

    Quick question though: I keep hearing people talk about the strategic importance of the Black Sea fleet to Russia but I just don't see it. The only way into the Med. is through the Dardanelles which is Turkey, a NATO member. How much power projection can Russia really have if it needs NATO's permission to enter the Med? Would love to hear your input. THANKS AGAIN.

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    1. The Russian Navy has four ports for its fleet: on the Arctic Ocean, the Baltic Sea, the Pacific, and Crimea. Of the four, only Crimea does not ice over during the winter. Without Crimea, Russia is a part-time Navy.

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    2. But if Crimea only allows access to what is essentially and over-sized lake...why does it even matter?

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    3. Both Murmansk and Vladivostok are ice free year-round.

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    4. Think about it from defensive, not offensive standpoint. Look again at the map ... Georgia, Ukraine, Chechnya, pipelines, US ships in the Black Sea ...

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  8. Awesome article as per usual bro. Good stuff!

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  9. Nice article, thanks!

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  10. What a surprise to see a new wartard article pop up in my RSS feed after so long. Spot on as always!

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  11. Dear Wartard,

    Kenneth Waltz much? :)

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    1. I love me some Waltzian Neorealism

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  12. Finally! Thanks War Tard.

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  13. Awesome, been hanging out for that, thanks.

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  14. Thank you, War Tard. Great read as always!

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  15. Crimea never been in Ukraine b4 1954. Khrushev didn't " give it back".

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  16. The Tard has finally spoken! Outstanding as usual :)

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  17. Love your work War - Tard
    Who cares whether or not the West are a bunch of hypocrites because we are 'right'.... 'aren't we...?'
    Power needs balance and Russia is trying to be part of that balance - it may be a dwindling power (even more when the black and gas run out 22 years at current rate) but it want's one last hurrah.

    What difference does it really make to the world? Most of the East of Ukraine and Crimea wants to be Russian as the referendum will most likely show. I say let them, the rest can join the European union / NATO as a part of the deal. Russia get's it's buffer and Europe gets it's energy. The remainder of Ukraine get's protection from NATO and hopefully better long term economic prospects by being in the European Union. As you say NATO can then station a whole load of troops right on Putin's front door.

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  18. If Putin wanted to stop more nations from joining NATO then he is doing a really bad job. The Russian annexation of Crimea will be an excellent incentive for everyone to seek closer ties to NATO, EU and "the west" as that is the only way they can be somewhat secure and from being bullied by Putins Russia. And this whole affair will also put pressure on the European NATO members to spend more money on defence and to become less dependant on Russian gas.

    Putins "bold move" might win him Crimea but he has also made sure that he will lose the new cold war.

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    1. I think Putin took advantage of the political instability in Ukraine to grab what territories Russia felt they "lost" when the USSR dissolved in 1991 and EU dependence on Russian energy ensures that there will be a minimum short term political price. Given Russia's history vis-a-vis bordering states these recent developments are not surprising to anyone besides the Western media's 24/7 news cycle. Wartard is right about the Crimea not being Ukraine's in the first place and there are enough Tartars and Muslims there that now become Russia's headache.

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  19. LOLOL "...while Fox News ran a donation drive to buy more ammo for the cops." I rarely laugh out loud while reading an article, this did it! You need to create your own damn show, you are a grass roots celebrity waiting to happen.

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  20. Awesome. That said, 75% looks to me like an actually honest referendum, with over 50% being Russians and likely lots of Ukrainians realizing life in Russia is bad but life in Ukraine is worse.

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  21. Replies
    1. As Stone Cold Steven Austin would say, "Oh, hell yeah!"

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  22. This is not about who stands where on the political and economic front. This is about ANNEXATION! And it's plain wrong!

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  23. Another great article, and thanks for taking the time to write it. Please, please post more often.
    Even if there is not enough happening in the world, there is plenty if material to chose from.

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  24. I believe that the Ukraine gave up the nukes because some of their scientists were killed when an ICBM warhead they they were trying to reverse engineer/modify exploded (the conventional high-performance warhead explosives that trigger the nuclear package...self destructed because the missles systems detected tampering....of course the system did not symmetrically explode, it just exploded unsymmetricaly so as to not go nuclear, just a very messy Big Bang that destroyed the warhead and missle/killing the people in the immediat area.....slightly radioactive messy mess that everyone agreed to clean up and give said nuke systems back to Russia and call it a day.

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  25. I think Russian money on European banks is even more a factor than Russian gas.

    In Germany one of the biggest energy providers (RWE) is in financial troubles because they missed the renewable energy revolution. I might sound like a hippie, but it is cold, hard fact that this company that didn't switch from natural gas and coal powered power plants to renewable energy sources is in trouble because they can't compete with all the energy from wind farms and solar plants flooding the German market and not just the German market. Energy providers in the countries surrounding Germany (mostly Switzerland, Austria and the Netherlands) are complaining about cheap German energy exports ruining their business and are lobbying their governments to stop German energy imports.

    The point is that Europe isn't as dependent on Russian gas as many people think.

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    1. War Tard's spot on about the city of London, however. If there was a war with Russia, they'd probably have to relocate the whole thing to Moscow.

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  26. I find it quite sad and disappointing that your blog has gone from being entertaining and somewhat informative to what it is today, a huge exercise in text based auto-fellatio and egocentric stroking of your own shaft.

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    1. if you do mine first I might do yours

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    2. I liked WarTard before he was cool.

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  27. Your name is quite appropriate, esp. the tard part.

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    1. So is yours, esp. the mouse part

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  28. I spread the word about this blog, because unlike the news bull@!#$, its worth a read and a consideration. Keep it up!

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  29. We need to find an incentive for you to post more often WT.
    Keep those awesome posts coming :)

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  30. Russian backed militia have opened fire on Ukrainian servicemen, with reports of deaths on both sides. Reports are that the dead militia were killed by friendly fire and not by Ukranian retaliation. The militia were wearing Russian uniform and carried Russian weapons but with no insignia which has allowed Russia to deny all responsibility. Ukraine has officially declared that we are now entering a military conflict and given permission for Ukranian servicemen to open fire if fired upon again. Britain has reportedly now withdrawn cooperation with Russia on military matters, in an official capacity and the US is proposing a rotation of armed forces in the Baltic region. NATO has responded to calls from former Soviet countries and bordering regions for more aircraft and troops as Russia continues to amass an vast army along the western front. There are murmurings out of Moldova that areas which are sympathetic to Russia are openly asking for annexation next and one of the leaders of the Chechens has passed away, removing a thorn fr the side of Putin.

    Nukes or no nukes, dependencies on resources and currency or not, there is a real threat building in the East and it is now officially a conflict. Shots have been fired and there have been military deaths.

    The forum is yours... Blog away.

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  31. Glorious writing! Every time we, the greatest apes, start arguing over imaginary lines I go straight to War Tard. Your style makes we wish our world were more violent.

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  32. Thank you Tard for yet another tremendous article!
    Pleas keep up your great work!
    Greetings from Germany

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  33. Thanks Bro! Another entertaining read.
    With all the BS and bluster in the western press, this was a breath of fresh air.
    It still has the potential to get well messy IMO...but as you say...nukes.
    So far - Putin 1, Everyone else nil...but we are not even at half time eh...it's a long game.
    Can't wait for the next installment...bring it on WarTard!

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  34. "When the West does it, it's sex, when Russia does it, it's rape."

    Best line in an article ever!

    Keep up the great work War Tard.

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  35. Welcome back, WarTard! Good analysis...

    I found an interesting comment over at VT that I hope you might comment on (definite popcorn material):

    "As far as the Israelis shutting down their embassies. I hope all those rumors from during the Iran Contra days that these places served as storage centers for their Sampson-option devices were untrue... Yes, perhaps this is just an actual labor dispute from ambassadors that feel underpaid and abused."

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  36. Well actually i think WarTard made a few mistakes and wrong judgments. First of all i think it was Putin who was stunned by this development. Just a couple of months ago Russia had all of Ukraine under its wing via a puppet called Janukovich. I think the FSB completely missed CIA and other western agents that managed to overthrow the Russia friendly government without a bullet, just by investing couple of millions of $ in the opposition and bum, 2/3 of Ukraine is lost (or won, depends from witch side of the fence you are). The old KGB would never allowed this thing to happen, it would never allow western agents to prowl around their back yard. So to resume, just a couple of months ago US had absolutely no influence in Ukraine and now it practically controls it. As far as Crimea is concerned, it was Russian anyway. One more thing, this situation prompted the Europe (since i am from EU i know a thing or two about it) to intensify the alternative ways of getting the energy. We will definetely see those LNG terminals on US shores step up their construction and with that we will see even more cross Atlantic cooperation (witch is extremely important in todays world that is shifting toward Asia, together we are stronger). In long term Russia will loose its only bargaining chip with the West and that was its energy exports. EU will import more and more from the US and invest even more in renewable energy sources. So this is a loose loose situation for Russia and i am sure they didn't predict it.

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    1. You bring up some interesting points, but I'm not sure about the US stepping up their LNG exports.
      There's another conflict in the region that the EU is looking at, and that's the Syrian civil war, which has far reaching consequences.
      Qatar would like to run a pipe through Syria to the EU, but it's been knocked back by the current regime , which might explain why Turkey is once again trying to kick start the conflict to help overthrow the regime just after Russia's actions, and allow the construction of that pipe that would run through Syria and Turkey, and would reduce Europe's reliance on Russian LNG.

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    2. In any case i think Putin totally misjudged his power and interests. Europe will definetely invest much more in alternative routes of gas import weather it's from Qatar, Algiers or USA. It will also invest more in fracking, there are some positive signs that there is a lot of shell oil in central Europe (Poland, Germany, etc..) And any way you look at it Russia's influence on EU will demise.

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    3. You see I disagree, I think the timing worked out better for Putin than he hoped it would.
      The US doesn't have the will or the money to push it's interests the way it did mid 2000s, and with the current power shift going away from Europe to Asia, it may never be in that position again.
      It's clearly a high stakes game, but atm I think Putin has the upper hand.

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    4. I disagree. This gives the US exactly what they wanted. A push for other NATO members to contribute more of their GDP to the cause.

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    5. Like i said, US has gained more then ever by investing less then ever. It took a couple of tenths of millions of $ that was given to the opposition and voila, NATO is couple of hundreds of km closer to Moscow. Since there are some budgetary cuts in US and Obama is a bit smarter then previous administration, he is using drones and spies to get US interests. And i think Obama's way is brilliant, like i said he came closer to Russia and managed to poke Putin where it hurts the most-in Russia's energy suply. Great work US, if this is your new policy i like it. After all American people are tired of going to wars, especially for some European country then never heard of and can't find it on a map. Of course that doesn't mean that the US might wouldn't be shown (together with NATO) if Putin has more teritorial aspirations, like for instance the Baltic states. Then we would see the famous article No 5 that would summon all the devils from all the hells who would pour it's wrath on underpaid and undertrained russian army. Now that would be a perfect war to watch on CNN.

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    6. The US has been encroaching on old soviet states since the 90s, it's nothing new that they have been conducting coups under the guise of revolutionary movements. What is new (in a sense) is the Russian capacity to intervene. The west already hate Russia, and there's only so much oil and coal in this world, and the capitalist machine isn't going to suddenly not need it because of the selective morality of westerners.

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    7. You must be confused my friend. Where did the US conduct coups in Eastern Europe?? All those former Eastern block states joined NATO with bells and whistles. Here we have,for the first time, a CIA action in Russia's back yard and now of all times when tsar Putin with his newly discovered greatness decided to expand his influence. Well buhuhu mr Putin, NATO will squezze your balls even harder.

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    8. The US has been conducting coups all over the world since the end of WW2, and according to my understanding the orange revolution, the rose revolution, and that operation in serbia were all influenced by western forces.

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    9. Hmmmm, i would say you are wrong. The thing in Serbia was not a coup, it was a legitimate NATO operation to overtrown a dictator that was killing inocent civilians in Kosovo. And what did the orange revolution had with US?? You are mistaking US coups in Central and Eastern America with these in Europe. Of course US has got influence everywhere, it would be strange if it didn't,it is a sole superpower, but pronouncing every government change anywhere and everywhere a US coup is simply stupid. US has got strong diplomacy and military so conspiracy theorists see them in everything.

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    10. Hmmmm, i would say you are wrong. The thing in Serbia was clear violation of international low, as it is becoming more and more obvious. Iven some NATO members admit that. It was not approved in the UN and therefore was not legal. US created kwazy state, but as of today warns US citizens not to travel to Kosovo fearing for their safety.

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    11. You do realise that there is absolutely no chance in a hell for the UN to be united in something, especially Security council. Have you ever whitnessed in last 50 years or so that US (France,UK,) have the same opinion on something as Russia/China?? There was an immidiate humanitarian crisis developing and people were dying every day. There are times to negotiate and there are times to act. Kosovo was the time to act,and no Russain objection could have stopped that. There was a time to act a few years earlier in the case of Vukovar and Srebrenica and the international comunity decided to talk about it over and over again in Security council and nothing happened, except of thousands of innocent people dying. America learned their lesson - you can't thrust the Serbs, it is time to act. And their decision to act was a reaction to their non action years before. So please don't talk to me about legal and illegal because there will never be a totally legal action sanctioned by UN, there will never be a unanimous decision.

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  37. Genius, that's what you are War-Tard. Great read indeed. Down with crap we read from media companies! We need balance of power in this world, great move by Putin. I wonder what China thinks and other members of BRICS?

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    Replies
    1. Hmmm, really?? I also wonder how would China react to separatism. Taiwan and Tibet come to mind. You know that China isn't much in favor of country self determination, that's why their reaction was unusualy mild and it didn't support their "best" friends-the Russians like they always do. So much for the BRICS.

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    2. http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2014/05/21/china-russia-gas-deal/9365155/

      Yeah, no "support" at all of Russia. None whatsoever :P

      (good grief)

      Delete
  38. any comment on putin's threat to cut off gas supply to ukraine? or in general any comments on how this has played out so far wartard?

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  39. Hey wartard, have you ever read George Friedman's "The Next 100 Years?" He outlines a brief conflict between Russia and a US-backed Poland. This Ukraine issue could be a step in that direction.

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  40. Shit's about to get real...

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  41. I've got a straange feeling this new cold war is gonna be awesome for the tech industry. Let me explain. Russian cybercrime accounts for between a fifth and a third of the global cybercrime black market (official figures). But the truth is that if you've got a computer problem, some guy in Russia probably caused it.

    The Russian hacker mob has strong connections with the Russian government - for instance in 2008 the most powerful computer in the world was a Russian botnet that came from St. Petersberg - which is Putin's town, by some coincidence. The feds were so frustrated with it they eventually gave a press release accusing the Russian spooks of complicity... which is why that whole NSA thing makes people in the know laugh up our sleeves. The NSA are just bugging the internet - the KGB's successors are actively fucking shit up old skool, and there's nothing you can do about it except: Boot into Safe Mode, run MBAM, run SpybotS&D, run Combofix, install Avast! - and rinse and repeat for riches.

    See, it's really, really easy to make money out of all this, and you don't even have to break the law. All you need to do, is fix computers for a living. You are guaranteed a job for life, even if you're the lowest keyboard monkey in the world, all you have to do is know how to de-virus and de-malware Windows computers. It's cyberspaces' worst kept secret - the tech industry is about as competetive as wrestling. It's dominated by incompetent stupid corporations whose products cause more harm than good, and which require endless maintenance by people like Yours Truly. Said maintenance is so easy the biggest problem in the job is working out how to look busy in front of the customer while the endless malware scanners do their stuff, and the second biggest problem is what to do with alll that money.

    The Military Industrial Complex looks quaint by comparison - that was all Big Government, Big Business, hard core weapons systems making that could never actually be used because they'd kill everyone and which kept the proles in shitty factory jobs. But this shit - the cyberwar - my God. It's happening right now and has been for years, anyone can get involved and anyone can benefit. Ten years ago, I was a failed computer programmer in the midst of a classic quarter-life crisis, a crack-up case with no future. Putin and his crooked mafia buddies inadvertantly bought me a nice bike, four and a half grand in cash and a thriving microbusiness. It's not too late to get on the gravy train either. So my advice to The Kids is this: Take an evening class in computer repair, get yourself a nice business card and strap yourself in!

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  42. Its been too long, Mr Wartard. Great article..

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  43. There are a couple of things I disagree on. The Nuland tape is the biggest load of cr@p as evidence of coup planning that there has ever been. The conversation is clearly taken out of context. The dialog sounded more like a discussion about who'd they would like to see in Ukraine's government. That's no different than you talking with a friend about what sports player you'd like to see on the team. No where in the conversation do the words, "replace," "remove," "kick out," "push out," or "coup." show up. Also, there is the ominous audio "click" at 2:30. So the conversation had been edited. The point is, someone put together a recording that only played what they wanted you to hear. That tape wouldn't hold up to scrutiny in a court of law, but we're expected to believe it was evidence of coup planning?

    Also, the issue does involve oil but there is a much larger initiative at work here that you haven't mentioned. Remeber Putin's Eurasian Economic Union? He stated in Janurary that he wanted this ratified May 1st. He needs Ukraine nad Georgia to capitulate. This is why Putin was so adversarial against Ukraine joining EU. He wants Ukraine in his Eurasian Union. He wants it operational by January 2015. His aim is to have China join his Union so that he will weild economic power greater than USA and EU combined.

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  44. Seems pretty obviously clear that you don't have a job, and haven't been employed in a very long time.

    I hope you are happily retired.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No he is happily wartarded

      Delete
  45. WarTard it's about time for another update? Maybe on all the new alliances and how they stack up against each other militarily and covertly...would love to see your thoughts

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  46. His twitter account says he's working on a Eurasian 21st century post, that was almost 2 weeks ago, lets hope he's still committed to it :)

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  47. "When the West does it, it's sex, when Russia does it, it's rape"

    And this is why i keep coming back here. That and you mentioning how this ties into peak oil and the corporatocracy that controls our twitter/facebook/slave wage dystopia. ;)

    Im glad somebody finally sees the pieces come together rather than the naive, idealistic morons at other media sites or pseudo-intellectual garbage thinly disguised as humor liked cracked.com.

    The fact is that Americans most enthusiastically claim how they are the salt at the earth while they would be among the first damned straight to hell (figuratively speaking...im a atheist). And the rest of the world sees us for the imperalist, fascist, brainwashed nucking futs dupes that we really are.

    Furthermore, it makes me grateful I no longer wear a uniform. Ill watch those fools fight a losing battle while enthusiastically marching eastward towards their very own Kursk.

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  48. 1.) Ukraine always flirted with western interests, especially towards the EU and NATO. It is also not "closer to Moscow". At least not any closer than the baltic NATO members.

    2.) Europe can find alternatives for gas and oil all they want. Russia will find a little inconvenient buyer called "china", which they have already sealed a deal with. Since the EROEI is not well known for US production yet, it can be safe to assume that the EU switching over to the US for an already peaking essential is significantly risky.

    3.) China buying energy from Russia is huge, since they are the rising power and the US and west are decling. Think about it for a second. It is "hardly" lose for the Russians.

    But dont tell US jingoists that. Especially the gullible authoritarian dupes that somehow believe Obama is secretly playing 3D chess with the rest of the world when he is in fact only slightly smarter than the last moron they had in office. That is a rather low bar to jump over ill say (LOL).

    So keep believing that bullshite vegass. The US dawn is closing and the world is moving towards a Eurasian century. However this is equivalent to changing decks on the titanic ill add.

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  49. Come on War Tard, publish something on the anniversary of D-Day!

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  50. Wartard any comment on ISIL's gains in Iraq?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think that's gotta be my next post.

      Shit just got real in Mosul.

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    2. please write it :(

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    3. No one cuts through stuff like WT, but no one vanishes off the face of the planet for spells like WT either ;)
      Please write something soon, we're running on empty here!

      Delete
  51. Surely you don't think that the USA illegally invading Iraq (don't blame "The West") was a "smart maneuver" [sic]? It was the biggest US blunder since Kennedy sent US troops into Vietnam.

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    Replies
    1. Eisenhower sent troops to Vietnam. Kennedy was actually strongly considering pulling them out before he got capped. While Iraq was a blunder for sure, people tend to forget that with the info they had at the time, it was a somewhat reasonable course of action.

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  52. Hurry the fuck up wartard

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  53. Dear war tard. You PROMISEd us you would write another soon :) i am going to fill in for your readers here with a link to Paul Craig Roberts article for your fans. Anyone think about this lately?

    http://www.sott.net/article/280628-Nuclear-war-Washington-is-beating-the-war-drums-Paul-Craig-Roberts

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  54. we need your support according to new development in business in ukrain.you can get here business reputation
    of ukranian companies.we needs funds at reputation on kickstarter regarding to new development is business in urkraine

    ReplyDelete
  55. mate this is getting out of hand

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. His new post is coming out soon, his twitter account said early this week.

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  56. ISIS (ISIL? Islamic State?) apparently obtained nuclear material according to Reuters. from a university. What the hell is going on? Where did this group come from and how have they taken so much ground and become so seemingly well organized in what seems like no time at all?

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  57. And now we have the IDF taking punitive action against Hamas militants in the Gaza strip, because of the rockets that Hamas has fired into Israel. As IDF planes pounded Hamas positions in Gaza, Jews from a nearby settlement were sitting on a hillside, eating popcorn while they witnessed the attack unfold, and cheered every time they saw an explosion. May God preserve Israel for the Elect's sake.

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  58. WarTard is like the Oracle of Delphi.

    Erratic, enigmatic and prone to long spells of silence.

    Yet when he delivers, we are all enlightened.

    Hurry up!

    ReplyDelete
  59. Any thoughts on how the separatists shooting down the Malaysian airliner with most likely Russian Hardware is going to change the landscape. It may actually force the Europeans to do something.

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  60. Eagerly awaiting a new posting. With the russian/ukraine situation escalating, the malaysian air liner being shot down, things are getting messy!

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  61. Come on dude, time for another one on ISIS...

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  62. must be hard to be the tard these days - Israel, Palestine, Ukraine, Russia, MH17, ISIS, Iraq, Syria

    How to choose what to write about?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well maybe it wouldn't be so bad if he put out more than one piece every 6 months... :P

      Delete
    2. Suggestion: read paul craig roberts in the interim to cool your appetite for a bit until war tard gets his mojo back

      http://www.sott.net/article/282555-Washington-sheperding-the-Ukrainian-crisis-towards-war

      Boiled frog

      Delete
  63. WT, come back to us, we love your insights, please don't let any delays in your posts stop you from putting another post up.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. sorry but, WT is officially dead

      Delete
    2. I wouldn't say dead, but I think his delay in posting something makes it even harder for him to come back and post something.
      But he just needs to rip the band aid off and get it over and done.

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    3. The hard thing is that there is just so much shit going on now and so fast and furious, it'd be hard to keep something like this going. I hope he comes back maybe shorter and punchier so it gets more frequent updates.

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    4. no, i mean literally, dude is dead. sources confirmed this.

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    5. If sources confirmed that the dude is dead, are any available as online links that can be shared? Sad if so, great writer.

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    6. I'd like to know what kind of sources are we talking about that have confirmed it?

      Delete
  64. We are docking your pay War Tard. The admin is not happy :( You have been awol for 2 long

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  65. PLEASE COME BACK, WE LOVE YOU WAR TARD!

    Best things about WT:

    * Lack of moralizing
    * Not a liberal pussy given to predictable outrage-o-thons
    * Not a soulless, evil conservative
    * Thinks out his posts
    * Writes well

    Basically, if you are dead, it is a great loss to the blogosphere. Where can I enter condolences?

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  66. Did Wartard off himself or something?

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  67. The fate of the Free World(TM) rests in WTs hands.

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  68. Donde esta el Wartardo?

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  69. Our so called blogger prostituted us to the west. destroyed our Blog... our updates... our honor.

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  70. Somebody put up a batsignal or something. We need an ISIS article.

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  71. sorry everyone, wartard died sometime last month, according to sources

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Can you give us a little more insight?

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    2. He's full of shit.

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    3. Lets hope he is....

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  72. From WT's Twatter:

    Sorry about the hiatus folks. I should have my new post on ISIS ready early next week. Thanks for all the emails!

    PK

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That was a very old tweet from the 1st of July.

      Delete
  73. Guys,

    Here is his latest Facebook post:

    War Tard
    July 27 near Los Angeles, CA
    Just finishing the ISIS post and now Gaza and Ukraine are making it fucking irrelevant.

    First world problems eh?
    ---

    From 27st of July.

    ReplyDelete
  74. I'm not fucking dead. Yet.

    Currently editing new ISIS post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. don't believe this dude, he's a zombie... the next post will just consist of like "braaainnnzzz...", "waaarrrrrr...." and "popcoorrrrnnnn"

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    2. sources confirmed this.

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    3. War Tard: the story of my demise is greatly exaggerated.

      OMG, I'm almost in tears (not joking btw), this has made my week.

      Delete
    4. Welcome back, WarTard :)))))))))))))))

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  75. Phew! You had us worried there! :-)

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  76. Come on, WT, we only want a fucking month and a number. Like July 2034, next post. But at least say something. Tired of seeing the same fucked up HELICOPTERS front page

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