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 Post Posted: Fri Apr 19, 2024 3:40 am 
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I'm relieved that something is getting passed, but there's been fake-outs before, so we'll see. And let me guess, those 16 retirements are out of what's left of the non-MAGA Republicans.

By the way, China is selling Russia military production parts in a really big way. That's why they're not running out of ballistic missiles.

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 Post Posted: Tue May 28, 2024 3:00 am 
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Vox recently did a piece on how things aren't looking good for Ukraine. Russia's military industrial complex has recovered from the initial hit due to sanctions; they're importing parts from China and weapons from Iran and North Korea. They've found cheaper alternatives to traditional guided missiles - "glide bombs" are just wings and a basic GPS system strapped to a conventional artillery shell. Launch them out of planes and they drift towards their target. Russia's managing to draft tens of thousands of unfortunate mooks from the outer provinces per month, supplemented with foreign mercenaries and press-ganged migrant workers. The same job scammers that lure South Asian and African men to exploitative Middle Eastern construction sites are being leveraged to funnel men to the Russian front lines. The quantity must be partly making up for the lack of quality, because Ukraine, being a much smaller country, is strapped for both munitions and manpower. They don't have enough shells left to lob at the incoming Russians.

They've lost ground in the northeast, and they don't seem anywhere close to bombing the Crimean bridge apart. The much delayed US aid package will make a difference when it finally shows up this summer, but "better late than never" isn't a particularly useful adage in war zones, which are rather time-sensitive.

The FSB is currently purging the Russian military, but what happens next depends on what kind of purge it is. Are they getting rid of useless corrupt cronies, or stuffing the military with more pliable useless corrupt cronies?

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 Post Posted: Wed Jun 05, 2024 10:04 am 
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Oddly enough, this isn't really a time sensitive war zone. Ukraine can get attritted; but the Russians have very long since lost the ability to advance away from their supply depots. And even if there have been some slight improvements, the Russian military industrial base is still garbage; it takes them over a month to replace the armor they lose in 2-3 slow days, they can't produce a tenth of the shells they need (and neither can their buddies), and their truck fleet is gone with the wind.

As for the glide bombs (which are 500-1,000 kg aerial bombs, btw; not shells). They've been doing some of the heavy lifting that Russian Artillery has long since lost the capacity to do; but between the F-16s and those two Swedish AWACS coming on line this summer, their time is very short. Even a Patriot battery would push the attrition rate of those fighter bombers up past 75% once they can data-link to the AWACS for a firing solution while still over the horizon.

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 Post Posted: Wed Jun 05, 2024 8:33 pm 
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Ukraine really does only have a few months to regain territory before winter sets in; Russia is trying to run out the clock on Western support. Trump getting back into the White House is.their Deus ex machina, but even if not, it looks like Congress is getting tired of sending Ukraine large amounts of money in return for more stalemate. And the public is losing interest in them.

If Putin keeps the stalemate going long enough,. Ukraine's allies will lean on Zelensky to make a peace deal that allows Russia to keep a chunk of what they took. That leaves open the possibility of a second invasion down the line, and if Putin's really thinking big, the collapse of the Ukrainian leadership over the fallout of said peace deal.

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 Post Posted: Thu Jun 06, 2024 3:06 am 
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If Trump wins then Europe will simply double down on their support; helping Trump would be the kiss of death for every European politician that matters (not that Ukraine could lose Polish support, and Poland can carry the war by itself if it needs to). If Trump loses (which seems the way to bet right now), then it's not likely the Republicans will be in a position to whore for Putin as freely as they do now.

As for land? I don't think it's that important for Ukraine to grab much, so long as they destroy enough Russians avoiding losing much. But on that note, their siege of Crimea seems to be going well; so we'll have to see what happens, especially when the new air assets come on line.

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 Post Posted: Thu Jun 06, 2024 5:31 am 
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Putin's working hard at buying European politicians, so their will to hold out isn't certain either.

I mean, they'd be bloody stupid and suicidal to trust Putin, but then, you can't put it past politicians to be bloody stupid. Or greedy.

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 Post Posted: Fri Jun 07, 2024 5:21 pm 
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weremensh wrote:
(which seems the way to bet right now)

Does it?

Obama really should have hit back harder when they took Crimea. But hindsight is 20/20 as they say.

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 Post Posted: Sat Jun 08, 2024 7:32 am 
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Given that the GOP was already happily Putin's whores, there was little Obama could really do.

I mean, yes, hindsight; but it's a lot like saying mean things about Chamberlain at Munich while not admitting that Britain was supinely unprepared for war and absolutely uninterested in fighting one. What other practical political choice did he have but to give Germany what they wanted? What could he have gotten through Parliament besides starting the rearmament process as he actually did, which helped save the nation during the war of 1939 but was useless for the crisis in 1938?

And similarly, what could Obama actually have done that Putin would have given a damn about; given America's pro-Hitler(still)/Putin party blocking everything out of nothing but spite and greed, as we see them very strongly inclined towards again now? It took a full scale shooting war and invasion of Ukraine by Russia to give Biden a window to actually get anything real done.

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 Post Posted: Tue Jun 11, 2024 2:17 am 
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Back when Obama was president, the Republicans weren't yet openly in Putin's pocket. The Russia Today-imbibing, Assad fanboying, Orban worshipping, musclebro-isolationist wing were still a weird Reddit subculture and the hawkish military-industrial complex wing were still in charge of the party. And they loved nothing better than to drag Obama for being "weak" on the international stage. I think he could have made them put their money where their mouth was, but it was true that the US was exhausted from fighting two forever-wars, so intervention was never that realistic.

Anyway, Macron's just called snap elections. He's very unpopular, his coalition is cracking, and the Putin-apologist far right is ascendant. Macron's betting that he can force the public back into his corner by making them take a good hard look at the crazy that is Marine Le Pen, but he might just lose that bet.

If the EU's second biggest country drops out of the pro-Ukraine coalition, it ain't looking good.

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