Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Has WWIII already started?

Very in-depth and thoughtful post at E.M. Smith's place.  The comments are thoughtful, too.

For the life of me, I can't see what compelling interest the USA has in war with Russia.  I can see what the US Military Industrial Complex has with a war like that.  And as they say, "War is the health of the State". 

But I don't see what's in it for us.

UPDATE 31 January 2023 11:18: Chuck Pergiel has a related and very interesting post about who the chief clowns running US foreign policy are.

Update 31 January 2023 15:35 : Link corrected


juvat said...

First link in the post, Broken?

Goober said...

"I can't see what compelling interest the US has..."

There's a lot of options there, in my opinion.

Option 1 - the world learned a lesson from the pre-WWII appeasement of hostile actions against, annexations of, and invasions of weaker countries by more powerful countries. We maybe learned the wrong lesson, but I don't really know. But ultimately, after the repeated appeasement of Nazi Germany leading up to WWII, we made a collective decision to never allow that again. And I would argue that this war started in 2008 with the Russian invasion of Georgia, and proceeded through to the annexation of Crimea, and the Russian support of "on the surface only" proxy wars in Donbass.

Option 2 - Whatever else you want to say about it, NATO was designed to fight Russia. NATO still exists, Russia is getting froggy, so NATO is likewise going to be concerned about that. A powerful organization like NATO is going to see every problem involving Russia as the nail that it was designed to drive. Several NATO members are, by Russia's own admission, in the sights of their expansionist goals.

Option 3 - Our military/industrial complex isn't seeing the lucre that it's become used to now that the US isn't waging multiple hot wars in the Middle East. They need something to spend money on, and they've got a strong influence in DC.

In short, I think that there are probably a convergence of several motivations at play here. We could argue over whether any of them are good or bad, and we could definitely argue over whether any of it is actually the US taxpayer's problem. But I really don't think the motivations are as hard to parse as many people seem to think

Goober said...

One of the things that I don't understand with the opinion at the link...

People who keep saying "Donbass is mostly ethnic Russian" and then hold Ukraine responsible for fighting back against their attempts at independence.

San Diego County is mostly ethnic Mexican. If they rebelled against US rule and started a shooting war with us, supported by Mexico, would you really think that the US would be the bad guy for fighting that fight, and not just writing off San Diego county because the people there mostly wanted to be Mexico?

Also, since Ukraine is doing pretty well against Russian forces, does anyone still think that the separatist militias were actually holding Ukraine off? Ukraine could have ROFLstomped them at any point. But didn't, probably to avoid provoking Russia.

But I don't understand this narrative. It makes no sense. Donbass is Ukraine. It doesn't matter who lives there. If they take up arms against the nation in which they live, SOP says that nation is going to take up arms against them in return.

I hardly think Ukraine did something wrong there?

Can anyone explain why that's incorrect thinking?

Ken said...

Mr. Smith has a decidedly different take on how the war is going compared to many other sources I read. I don't have enough independent background to agree or disagree, but I'll say it's worth reading just for that.

Beans said...

To further what Goober said, the Russians actively moved in ethnic Russians into Eastern Ukraine, and then had the still-Russians who now claimed to be Ukrainian vote to leave the Ukraine.

Shades of pre-WWII.

And Russia has done, what, 5 to 7 military actions against Ukraine since 1990, including the seizure of the Crimea.

At what point do we, as a world, say, "This garbage needs to stop."

Yes, the Ukraine was and is corrupt. Yes, the US is being controlled by corrupt people. So? It's still a 'good' fight.

This is what the United Nations (and its predecessor, the League of Nations) was created to stop. So, yes, the UN failed, of course, as it always does, except to attempt to extort money from the US.

We aren't at WWIII yet, but we're at, maybe 1937 levels of pre-WWII stuff. Japan is rearming thanks to continued threats by Communist China, North Korea and Russia. There's an ongoing naval war about fishing rights in the Pacific that's gotten so bad Chile has actively attacked and sunk ChiCom ships. There's an ongoing territorial grab by the ChiComs just like what Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, Socialist USSR and Imperial Japan were doing pre-1938.

Norway, Finland, Sweden, Poland are all massively building up their military in response to Russia's attacks and land seizures. Seems they finally figured out that Bubba USA won't come to their rescue and they have to do it themselves.

Heck, even Germany is finally waking up and seeing the threat.

Pre-WWII levels of "Oh, Carp, we need to rearm right now" are going on all over SE Asia, Europe and the Middle East (as Iran and Turkey keep getting friskier and friskier about territorial ambitions.)

Michael said...

It's all fun and video games until we are waking up by an unscheduled SUNRISE.

It has little to do with tank stats and all those fun points of discussion. Gotta laugh when the New York Slimes is banging the war with Russia drum by Comparing just how Inferior the Russian tanks are to the mighty M1 Abrams.

Folks it's all about money and power.

In case you haven't heard Saudi Arabia has "violated" at DAVOS just last week the Kissinger Petrodollar treaty. The petrodollar is what keeps the USA able to run UNLIMITED DEBTS, bribe politicians and be the Bad Ass Police across this globe.

This self-described by our own government and DOD proxy war to "Weaken Russia" and allow us to "dissemble Russia" is for money and power. Our "Sanctions" only proved just how IMPORTANT Russian energy, rare earths, electricity (looking at you Germany-Europe) and SOON we'll find out just how important their FOOD is to the world (even the USA).

All to maintain the Petrodollar and our unlimited debt ability.

I'm already laughing as I WON a bet some idiots would start the rumor that Russian nuclear weapons are inoperative due to "Typically poor Russian Maintenace".

Putin is many things but stupid as he has proven over several decades he is NOT. They could pencil whip the Army stuff (and many folks have been killed to warm others that isn't going to continue) but I am quite sure that Putin made damn sure his Nuclear weapons and the Dead Hand System is alive and kicking.

I suspect Putin is trying to prevent a nuclear exchange because he does love his country (unlike most socialist democrats in DC) and he's quite aware the failure of the Petrodollar will generate "Interesting" as in Chinese Curse issues INSIDE the USA once Hyperinflation kicks off.

For the record I'm not pro-Putin, I am anti-World Economic Fourm and THEY want the USA and Russia to destroy each other so those two stumbling blocks to "You'll own nothing and be happy" can come to pass.

Protect your family, the idiots in DC are NOT going too.

Aesop said...

If that second sunrise is all you're worried about Michael, dig a bunker, and run and hide.

There are worse things in life than war, even than nuclear war.

That's where Beans gets this right, and you get it wrong.

All the smelling-salts-and-fainting-couch nonsense would stop if Russia just learned to live inside its own border for five minutes, and GTFO of its neighbors' territories, and stop trying to reform the Soviet Empire at bayonet-point.

Y'know, the same standard the rest of the world adheres to.

Hamstringing that unceasing Vlad program is absolutely in the USA interest.

People who think otherwise were just like the brilliant minds calling for US disarmament and isolation in 1940.

How'd that work out last time around?

Asking for 7B neighbors.

Michael said...

Yeah, Aesop, for someone without a family nor grandchildren a Nuclear War isn't that bad, eh?

Or are you implying the (By your own words) corrupt, drunken, ill trained, ill equipped and otherwise no threat to the US military Russian military is somehow going to Red Dawn us or something after we stop stomping around their backyard?

Please EXPLAIN to folks How a Nuclear War is better than "losing Ukraine" to the Russians?

Your maladjustment from your "years" in active service with Uncle Sam's misguided children makes a mockery of an otherwise quite intelligent gentleman.

So aside from your telling me you were in the Grenada adventure (I was there providing medical support and will not call it a war) just when did you go toe to toe with evil Ivan?

Maybe that was around when you got a President to install a Cali-Mexican fence per your boasting yesterday? Oh, yes to protect one person's ranch? When exactly did this occur if you please? You mentioned Dubya in that rant.

I miss the pre-Ukraine Proxy War Aesop.

Sorry Bore Patch but saying "There are worse things in life than war, even than nuclear war." needs some serious explanation.

matism said...

What's in it for us?

Free street lighting for some of this country's shithole hives!

Richard said...

There are two wars and the one on the ground is the least important unless it goes nuclear. Up to that point, the financial war is the big one. The sanctions regime was sold as an attempt to deter/defeat Russia. If you look at the structure and results, it was actually designed to grind down the middle class in the West. Not that the oligarchs would mind dismembering Russia but controlling the Western populations is much more lucrative. Russia is the most autarkic large country in the world with surplus food and energy and a long history of being isolated. The West is much more vulnerable to sanctions even without the moves against the petrodollar that are underway. Thing is that the WEF knows this and the war on Russia is just one front with the others being the war on energy and the war on fertilizer.

What we need is 1848 with yellow vests, not 1914 with nukes.

Jonathan H said...

I think he has some good points but goes off in places.
While Russia and Ukraine (and the US) are corrupt, in this day and age, invading a neighbor is a big no no that we are right to help fight... How and how much are questions I don't have a solid answer for.

Personally, I think that the quicker we stop Russian territorial aggression, the better for the whole world.
Long term, China is a bigger problem than Russia - fortunately, China is good at learning from others mistakes, and from what I've read, Russia's poor performance in Ukraine has them very worried since their system and most of their equipment is copied from Russia.
If Russia's misadventures in Ukraine hold back China (as well as Iran, NK, and others) then I think our involvement at the current level is worth it.
To be harsh, I'd rather see fighting and death overseas and among foreigners than Americans or in America, and I'd rather see American money spent than American blood - having said that, I'd like more accountability on where the money is going and for us to tighten the purse strings some.

Ken said...

Richard's point about the War on Fertilizer deserves amplification. I've been worried about this and looking for good sources to monitor it for over a year.

The Big Three in crop nutrition are nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium (N, P, and K). You need all three in proportions that vary a bit by crop (there are a passel of useful micronutrients too, but we'll stick to NPK). Now we have to figure out where our crops' next meal is coming from (the rest of this will be simplified radically to keep the comment short enough: data, such as it is, comes from investingnews dot com).

Nitrogen? If you have natural gas, know what the Haber-Bosch process is, and have the will to follow through, you'll have N. The US has plenty of gas and can produce as much ammonia as it has the will to produce.

Phosphorus? The lion's share comes from China, followed by Morocco, the US, and Russia, but China produces more than the next three combined and about as much as those three plus Suadi Arabia and Jordan. All domestic P apparently comes from Florida, North Carolina, Idaho, and Utah. We produce about 22MM tons of P, which probably ain't enough for domestic consumption, though I don't know for certain.

Potassium? Ah, now it gets interesting. Top four producers of K are (wait for it) Canada, Russia, Belarus, and China. So your K is coming from Vlad Putin, from Xi Jinping, or from Fidel Castro's sniveling little bastard git.

Upshot: Food isn't likely to get cheaper any time soon. I'd be curious as to whether Germany, Israel, Jordan, Chile, and the US (#5-9 on the list) would be able to increase production of K appreciably in the next 2-5 years.

Old NFO said...

Beans is correct.

JaimeInTexas said...

Bean "Several NATO members are, by Russia's own admission, in the sights of their expansionist goals."

Which admissions?

For the "other" view:
Vinyard Of The Saker
Moon Of Alabama
Andrei Martyanov
Col. McGregor
Larry Johnson

Beans is incorrect.

Aesop said...


Kindly cite where and when I said the Russian military was "no threat to the US military".

Or retract your deliberate misquote.

Your ball.

Michael said...

Sorry Bore patch, I try not to smother your blog with this blanket party for Aesop.

Aesop31 January, 2023 16:51

Russian arty shooting its barrels out??
I was assured by the World's Foremost Online Experts that it couldn't be true, when I presented that exact scenario waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay back last June, including some great analysis by random YouTuber:

I ain't holding my breath waiting for the "clarifications" from the soopergeniusii who got it wrong, yet again. But it explains the Uke's lackadaisical attitude towards the vaunted Russian redlegs, who need most of a day, five basic loads of ammo, and a metric f**kton of luck to hit one point target after 100 tries.

In respect for Borepatch, I stop here but I'll let you know your open disrespect for the Russian military being a bunch of losers is well known.

Michael said...

Now Aesop ADRESS this statement:

Blogger Aesop said...
If that second sunrise is all you're worried about Michael, dig a bunker, and run and hide.

There are worse things in life than war, even than nuclear war.

EXPLAIN the worse thing MARINE.

Aesop said...

So, you're trying to transmogrify what I did say, as if it somehow equates with the dog whistle in your head you imagine I said, and we see that 2≠57.

Now I understand how your mind works, for some value of "mind", and some value of "works".

And we can all see why a lie like that gets halfway around the world before the truth has got its boots on.

But we've established beyond all doubt that you can't source such an imaginary statement as you tried to put into my mouth, and were instead forced to pull one whole entirely out of your nether regions.

We have some lovely parting gifts for you.

In answer to what obviously escapes your grasp, tell the class who had it worse: the Japanese people in WWII, or those interred in death camps in Germany, or the Soviet gulags.

If you cannot conceive of fates worse than mere death, your imagination is as faulty as your recollection. Worse, you clearly imagine life so dear and peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery.

Best wishes walking that position back, sport.
Game, set, match.

Michael said...

Dear Aesop, what a wonderful reply. Word weasel extraordinaire.

Whatever, as my Mother might say "Bless your heart".

I still marvel such a know it all, thin skinned, must be correct ever managed to do any time in the service, let alone the rough tough Marines.

I'll not waste any more of Borepatch's blog space trying to speak plainly to a word weasel "Marine".

So, feel free to throw some more of that Liberal "Shade" hero.

Aesop said...

Pointing out the obvious, and rubbing your nose in it, is hardly any sort of weaseling.
But boo hoo: You can sling the crap at others, but when it blows back in your mouth you cry and run away. Shocking!

For the twentieth time (at least): on other people's blogs, why not, for sheer novelty, confine your remarks to the points at issue, instead of taking the opportunity on their bandwidth and under their banner to attack other people in battles of wits, for which you're woefully under-supplied?
Just a suggestion.

You'll get a far more harmonious outcome, and eat a lot less crap.

Michael said...

Aesop, aside from making a happy mess on your keyboard what did your posting add to the subject of this thread.

Just in case you cannot remember here's the cut and paste.

Very in-depth and thoughtful post at E.M. Smith's place. The comments are thoughtful, too.

For the life of me, I can't see what compelling interest the USA has in war with Russia. I can see what the US Military Industrial Complex has with a war like that. And as they say, "War is the health of the State".

But I don't see what's in it for us.

Have an Awesome date with your keyboard.