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christo-f

Geo-strategic Imperatives, Grand Strategy, Strategy and Tactics

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- If the US pulled out of the Middle East and Afghanistan completely by the year's end there would be havoc all over the world and the US would be totally and completely FUCKED.

 

 

- The US is actively working to extract itself from Afghanistan and Iraq as quickly as possible whilst securing its strategic interests

 

 

 

- The US is getting sucked in to a conflict in Iran that it doesn't want due to US involvement in Poland, Georgia, Ukraine and Romania

 

 

 

- India is looking to destroy the Taliban in Afghanistan but lend enough support to the Taliban in Pakistan to keep the Pakistanis focusing inwards but not enough so that the Taliban and other elements such as Lashka-e-Toiba can operate outside of the civilian government's controls

 

 

 

- China and the US are racing to re-shape South East Asia, starting in Myanmar. That is why the US is opening dialogue with the Junta in Myanmar

 

 

 

- China is looking to create an East Asian identity and community in order to dominate the region and balance against the US. This is why the Chinese are so pissed about the weapon sales to Taiwan, not because the weapons upset the military balance across the Straits. China is sending the US a message concerning its activity in the region but really can't do fuck all about it for another decade yet

 

 

 

- The only people in the world that want to see a peace agreement between the Israelis and the Palestinians that result in an independent Palestinian state is the Palestinians

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Feel free to discuss any of these points, or something of a strategic nature that you are interested in as long as it doesn't end up on the issue of libertarian constitutional rights, the US Fed or the "new world order", please. I'll come up with a few more issues like these above when I can think about them.

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I completely agree with the first point, if America just straight pulled all the troops out of the middle east then there would be such a power vacuum and resentment within the muslim world that things would be a hell of a lot worse than they already are. I am completely against the wars over there, but even as somone that objects to them I can see how irresponsible it would be to just leave.

 

Also, the Palestinians completely deserve their own state and to be free from the tyranny inflicted on them by the Israelis. I find it highly hypocritcal that the Israelis treat the Palestinians the way they do when the Jewish people have been treated so badly through history.

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You say that the Israelis are being hypocritical By the way that they treat the Palestinians.

 

When deciding on the security of your people, those that have felt the threat of extinction more than once, I'd suggest they couldn't give a rats arse about inflicting suffering on others if it benefits them.

 

I'd also go as far to say, thankfully at the outset of this thread that no country does give a shit about anyone else and they are only really bound by either external cost-benefit (such as military or trade/economic consequences) and internal cost-benefit (reaction of the voting public or social instability in the more authoritarian states).

 

 

I will also say that invasions of sovereign territory, such as we have seen in the first and second world wars ARE NOT a thing of the past and are still on of the top priorities of each and every country. Cases in point are US-Afghanistan/Iraq, Iraq-Kuwait, US/NATO-Former Yugoslavia, Ethiopia-Somalia, Russia-Georgia, Indonesia-East Timor just to name a few.

 

IT still happens and will happen again, maybe even this year. So when a country creates military, security and foreign policy its number one constant is to defend itself from foreign incursion into its sovereign territory or security and economic interests.

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I can understand the way the Israelis are thinking however I completely disagre with it, a few missles being launched into their territory is by no means justification for their actions against the Palestinians, I would go so far to say that the Israelis are commiting war crimes and crimes against human rights in the treatment of the Palestinians.

 

But this is something you are well versed in and while I try and keep up with things I certainly am not so well versed on these matters, can you provide links to websites/authors that would be good to read up on these global matters that will be spoken about in this thread.

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- The only people in the world that want to see a peace agreement between the Israelis and the Palestinians that result in an independent Palestinian state is the Palestinians

 

I can tell you from living there for two years this is definitely not true. A lot of Israeli citizens and politicians would like to see a two state solution. The thing that drives most people to reject the idea is the threat of violence and what they view as unreasonable requests on the Palestinians part.

 

I do think that there is an issue with the idea of a Palestinian state. Israel provides their electricity, water, many jobs, etc. I don't think they have what it takes to be self reliant at this point. Not to mention that their government is very corrupt and manipulative.

 

FYI- I'm not interested in talking about the Gaza response. I'm tired of it, so don't bother asking me about it.

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Mate, to be honest I haven't read any thing else other than the news, white papers, transcripts and so one for years. Like reading the latest Quadrennial Defense report, the Chinese foreign minister's speech to the French Institute on Foreign Relations, SIPRI Military Balance, etc. etc. and take part in the analysis myself.

 

However when I was studying my bible was the MIT/Harvard International Security Journal, however that is subscription based. You can read stuff like the Jamestown Foundation, Heritage Foundation, RAND Corporation, International Crisis Group (definitely suggest these guys), ISN Security Watch, Eurasia Group, ControlRisk, Eurasia Group, Association of American Scientist, Christian Science Monitor, Global Security, International Institute for Strategic Studies, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Council on Foreign Relations, etc. etc.

 

Prepare to do a lot of reading though. I would read the equivalent of 2-3 books a week, on average. Makes the fucking brain hurt!

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nice one cheers mate, I go through bouts where I don't read at all but then when I do read I get through 2 or 3 books a week so I will try and look up some of those when I have my next reading phaze.

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I can tell you from living there for two years this is definitely not true. A lot of Israeli citizens and politicians would like to see a two state solution. The thing that drives most people to reject the idea is the threat of violence and what they view as unreasonable requests on the Palestinians part.

 

I do think that there is an issue with the idea of a Palestinian state. Israel provides their electricity, water, many jobs, etc. I don't think they have what it takes to be self reliant at this point. Not to mention that their government is very corrupt and manipulative.

 

FYI- I'm not interested in talking about the Gaza response. I'm tired of it, so don't bother asking me about it.

 

I gather you mean operation Cast Lead, right? I have no questions on that which need answering.

 

If Israel gives the West Bank to the Palestinians Israel has no strategic depth and is stuck on the coastal plain. That is a very strategically vulnerable point as they are wedged between the ocean and the Palestinian state, where do they retreat to?

 

Mountains offer a place where a retreat can be made to and easily defended. It's very hard, logistically speaking for forces to move through and fight in mountains however it is easy to move down out of mountains and conduct raids on the plains, then retreat to mountains. That means that anyone who invades Israel will need to take and hole the mountains as well as the coastal plain and here I go back to how hard it is to move forces through the mountains. Case in point to illustrate is the Russians fighting in Afghanistan.

 

If Israel allows a Palestinian state in the WB they will lose any chance int he near future of creating strategic depth for the defense of the nation.

israel-topography.thumb.jpg.5b95bf7ff3e99dd920aa681fe13389d0.jpg

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Secondly the Egyptians really do not want an independent Gaza and if the Israelis allow it they will lose a lot of their good relations with Cairo.

 

 

Also, when I am talking here I am not talking about parts of populations, left wing politicians, rights groups, soldiers, whoever. I am talking about strategic interests, pure and simple. Strategically speaking no one wants an independent Palestinian state and that pretty much means that it just won't happen.

 

I'd also well argue that history supports this argument since the foundation of Israel. The right wing governments will hold power in Israel as long as there are attacks from the territories, the attacks will always come whilst Israel holds land from the green line and the Right in Israel is strategically minded. What's more, the majority of real power brokers in Israel are ex-military and ex-intelligence and they understand strategic imperatives perfectly well.

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The US is getting sucked in to a conflict in Iran that it doesn't want due to US involvement in Poland, Georgia, Ukraine and Romania

 

How does this work? Is Russia trying to use sales of nuclear tech to Iran as leverage against Georgia and Ukraine joining NATO?

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How does this work? Is Russia trying to use sales of nuclear tech to Iran as leverage against Georgia and Ukraine joining NATO?

 

Exactly.

 

Nuclear tech/scientists, S-300 air defense, UNSC sanction veto, sales of gasoline over land to Iran to defeat uni-lateral sanctions (Iran imports 40% of its refined petroleum products due to a lack of refining capacity). Used to leverage the US out of Russia's periphery; Georgia, Ukraine, Romania/Moldova and Poland.

 

Which then means the issue in the Middle East is more a symptom of US-Russian relations. Without Russia's support China would not stand alone on sanctions and Iran would come to a halt within 3 months.

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There are so many pieces and ingredients that add fule to a region that has; oil, territorial land disputs and is partial to third world country conditions that will always make it volatile. Its the new platform in wich to start a cold war if not a real war between nations that want to rule the world. I feel like Russia is patiently waiting for a more strategic opportunity to advance, then trample Iran and any alies its made there. They are looking to gain land or control completely.

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first off, props for another interesting thread.

 

S-300 air defense,

that would pose a bigger threat for israel than the bomb. i very much doubt that russia would sell it to iran.

UNSC sanction veto,

last time i checked the russians were not completely against sanctions.

sales of gasoline over land to Iran to defeat uni-lateral sanctions (Iran imports 40% of its refined petroleum products due to a lack of refining capacity).

they get it from turkmenistan and strive for negotiations with aserbaidshan. russia has nothing to do with it. also, russia might have some influence in turkmenistan but it is dwindling with lightspeed since china basically bought the whole country in december 2009.

Used to leverage the US out of Russia's periphery; Georgia, Ukraine, Romania/Moldova and Poland.

could you please elaborate this a bit more, christo? i cant really follow. what has iran's nuclear programme to do with poland (obama opted to not erect the missile shield) and especially ukraine?

Which then means the issue in the Middle East is more a symptom of US-Russian relations.

i have a hard time believing that the russians are using iran as leverage. a nuclear armed middle-east is surely not in their interest.

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Secondly the Egyptians really do not want an independent Gaza and if the Israelis allow it they will lose a lot of their good relations with Cairo.

 

 

Also, when I am talking here I am not talking about parts of populations, left wing politicians, rights groups, soldiers, whoever. I am talking about strategic interests, pure and simple. Strategically speaking no one wants an independent Palestinian state and that pretty much means that it just won't happen.

 

I'd also well argue that history supports this argument since the foundation of Israel. The right wing governments will hold power in Israel as long as there are attacks from the territories, the attacks will always come whilst Israel holds land from the green line and the Right in Israel is strategically minded. What's more, the majority of real power brokers in Israel are ex-military and ex-intelligence and they understand strategic imperatives perfectly well.

 

True, but there is more to it.

 

Israel cannot allow a Palestinian state to exist so long as it's controlled by entities that preach it's destruction. On top of that, the Palestinians are far from self-reliant. How can they allow the creation of a state that will collapse within weeks and then become aggressive towards its neighbors? Egypt fears Gaza for this reason, and so does Israel.

 

I'm certain there will never be a Palestinian state in the West Bank, too many Israelis live there but there is a strong possibility that area around Gaza could become Palestinian.

 

I find it interesting you brought up the foundation of Israel because it was the initial Arab aggression in 1948 that destroyed the original two states. 1948, 67, 91, etc didn't help anyone in Israel feel comfortable with it's neighbors. It's hard for me to imagine dual state solution but many Israelis are for it. I personally believe it could happen, but not for a while. There would need to be a radical change in thought.

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great thread so far. christo and mar are two of the very few people in crossfire i have ever minded talking to, they know what a reputable source looks like. i think nerd shit up like this all the time.

 

and i second ICG, they were great primers for any term paper i had to write in college, and really gives a good sense of both domestic/local catalysts for conflict as well as the more regional/intl sources/repercussions.

 

christo one thing i'm really interested in, and you're very qualified in, is what will south korea and japan will do as the balance of power shifts towards china in the next decade or two. as china's middle/consumer class grows in size, so will the economic opportunity cost of not bandwagoning with china.

 

on the other hand, korea and japan surely have an interest in an escalation of conflict btw. china and the us in that they all export big portions of their gdp production to the US.

 

in the next 20 years, china will be in serious beast mode. but if the us/japan/korea/australia all hedge their interests together, will this effect be minimized? or if japan australia and korea all jump ship (word to the australian pm speaking mandarin), how will the US respond?

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that would pose a bigger threat for israel than the bomb. i very much doubt that russia would sell it to iran.

Without the threat of a nuke an S-300 system is not too much of a threat to Israel. Having the S-300 then makes it very difficult to for Israel to launch successful air and missile raids on Iranian nuclear facilities. However, even this point doesn't carry too much significance as Israel does not have the air assets or the fly over rights of Syria, Jordan and Iraq to conduct air raids on Iran. Secondly, Iran's nuclear facilities are buried and hardened. Typical cruise and ballistic missile strikes may not be able to sufficiently penetrate the target and only on the ground confirmation is acceptable for an issue like this. A failed strike would be worse than no strike. Israel does not have the "bunker buster" capability it needs to hit these targets successfully. The ISraelis asked Bush for bunker busters but was refused. The US is currently working on the Massive Ordinance Penetrator (MOP) but has put its operational deployment back to December (it was originally being fast tracked to July but that changed not long before Xmas last year. Remember that the US does not want this fight and would like to discourage ISrael from launching an attack that would drag the US in).

 

However, the S-300 still does pose undeniable obstacles for both the US and Israel in the worst case scenario of a strike on Iran. That is why the Russians use this option of selling it to Iran as a way to pressure the US in to leaving Eastern Europe and the Caucuses alone. Now, they don't actually want to sell it to the Iranians but they like to have that threat dangling there and keeping the US guessing as to whether it will sell or not. The word is that the systems are sitting in Karliningrad packaged and ready to go. The people involved in the logistics are saying that it is only a political decision that stops them from being sent tomorrow.

 

Also, the US just sent PAC-3s to Poland, publicly stated, which have been deployed to the border of the Kaliningrad enclave. A few days ago the announcement was also made that Romania would base Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) assets in their country. This is a significant step forward for the US in the region and it's quite possible that the Russians may have started sending S-300 system parts to Iran and that Iran will announce this on the 11 of February (tomorrow) as part of the Revolution anniversary celebrations. Not saying that I know this o be the case but it's possible, and we won't have long to find out. Expect an announcement on something tomorrow+ anyway.

 

last time i checked the russians were not completely against sanctions.

 

No they are not and they come out every now and then and suggest that Iran has to be more flexible and attend to the IAEA, etc. etc. However the Russians are building the Bushehr reactor and have over 2500 nuclear technicians working in the country (none of which is any secret). So it's hard to see the Russians coming on board with sanctions when they are an active element to the process. Russia has also said that it will not stand alone if all other UNSC members support the imposition of sanctions. However that is easy to say because both China and Russia can say the same thing and then point at each other, in private. China imports a large amount of crude, exports a large amount of refined product and has large investments in fields in Iran. It has a significant reason not to impose sanctions as it then shoots itself in the foot.

 

The only thing that has been done was the IAEA sanctions recently that all came on board for. However they were watered down to the point where they were only words, there were no material consequences attached to them.

 

 

they get it from turkmenistan and strive for negotiations with aserbaidshan. russia has nothing to do with it. also, russia might have some influence in turkmenistan but it is dwindling with lightspeed since china basically bought the whole country in december 2009.

 

Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan are well within the Russian sphere and China has not bought anything in the Central Asian stakes other than access to energy.

 

Keep in mind that Azerbaijan is a former Soviet state and is also a member of the Commonwealth of Independent States (which is the left over of the USSR). Azerbaijan is considering joining the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO) in order to balance against the Armenian threat in Nagorno Karabach. Armenia is a Russian ally and Azerbaijan is considering moving closer to Moscow to try and narrow the threat of war in NK. It's hard to see Azerbaijan doing too much that would go against Russian interest, especially after August 2008 and the display that Russia put on in Georgia.

 

Russia and Belarus are large arms suppliers to Azebaijan and Russia also assists Azer in military training (Only Georgia and Ukraine eclipse Russia and Bela exports. However Georgia only had one export in 2002 and whilst Ukraine had drifted West after the Orange Revolution it is very hard to see that they would go so far as to ship weapons to a country on Russia's periphery that is not friendly with Moscow. One would also argue that the arms manufacturing base in Ukraine still largely belongs to Russia. http://armstrade.sipri.org/armstrade/html/export_values.php)

 

Russia JUNE 30, 09 agreed to buy 500mcm of gas from Azer starting Jan.1, Gazprom (Russian state owned) has offered to buy all of Azerbaijan's gas as of Jan. 11. The prices that Russia is ageeing on is much higher than what it pays elsewhere. This is being done to stop Baku's interest in the Nabucco oil pipeline and retain Russia's energy card over Europe. If this deal goes through then the existing Baku-Novo Filya pipeline will need to be increased from the 8bcm capacity it runs now to around 10bcm. That would mean the Nabucco project doesn't get built and that Azerbaijan's major income will be dependent on Russia. Azerbaijan is moving well in this direction and that, along with being a CIS member, looking at joining the CTSO, being a major arms buyer from Russia/Belarus/Ukraine all indicates that Azerbaijan is well within Russia's sphere of influence. Not to mention that it alo shares a border with Russia and is vulnerable to military pressure (Russia also has 5000 troops in Armenia).

 

I have to post this now as the word count will get too large and I hate wall of text.

 

Please google all the things I've stated here the only two points that won't be foubd on open source is the claim that it is only a political decision to send the S-300s and that Azerbaijan is thinking of joining the CSTO to undermine the threat from armenia. All the rest is easily found on line.

 

I will address all comments, questions and arguments posted in time as best I can.

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Now, in detail Iran doesn't need to import oil, it is a net oil exporter. It needs to import gasoline because it lack refining capacity. Neither Azerbaijan nor Turkmenistan exports Iran with refined oil/light petroleum products. The oil that comes in from Turkmen is part of an oil swap deal (as it has with some other CA states). Iran brings in Oil from Turkmen to its northern refineries and then forwards to its domestic market. Iran then ships out the equivalent oil from its southern ports on behalf of Turkmenistan to avoid the cost of sending all the way through the mountains to its northern markets/refineries. In 2010 Turkmen has contracts for gas sales of 40bcm to China, 30bcm to Russia and 14bcm to Iran.

 

THere are no direct oil pipeline connections between Turkmen and IRan and neither do they supply Iran with gasoline. Below are the countries that do, as far as I'm aware it is all done though shipping.

1634162874_10-01-iran-gasolineimportsources.gif.3b9078c0f43568a13e2478688b7685a6.gif

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The claim that CHina has bought Turkmenistan and that Russia is losing influence at a rapid rate I will take up later, if you are interested, but for now I'll leave it at gasoline supplies to Iran.

 

Poland. First off, look at the geography. Poland is basically a land bridge across the northern european plain. If you want to move your forces from east to west or vice versa you gotta go through poland. Everywhere else brings you up against mountains, seas or bottle necks. Poland is the land bridge between the East and the West and arguably the most strategically important part of Europe and history shows that by the Polish being continually fucked up the arse throughout time.

 

The BMD is meaningless in terms of containing a Russian nuclear attack. First off Russia has enough single ICBMs to saturate the system, secondly just a few Multiple Independent Re-entry Vehicles (MIRV) could do that alone. Lastly, Russia has nuclear submarines and long range nuclear bombers that totally bypass BMDs. The BMD system in Poland and Czech R. are a commitment. Not only would a BMD installation mean that US boots would have to be on the ground, which then creates a tripwire should Russia invade. It also shows a US willingness to aid and support, that is be a power patron of these countries.

 

So, it doesn't matter what systems you put in there in the end, it is all about displaying a commitment to a country, meaning don't fuck with it because I have its back. The US has continued to show this commitment by sending Patriot Advanced Capability -3 (PAC-3) batteries to Poland. On the 20th Poland said that they will base them in Morag, which is next to the Russian enclave of Karliningrad where they can place Iskandar missiles. Russia then responded by saying that they would upgrade their Baltic fleet with high-precision missiles to defeat the PAC-3s. Russia also said that it is interested in buying 4 Mistral-class amphibious ships from France which add a massive capability to Russian forces (will more than likely be 2 in the Baltic fleet and 2 in the Black Sea fleet at Sevastpol. However they have to get them through the Bosporus first and that requires concessions from Turkey).

 

So, what I am trying to display here is 2 things, 1) that Poland is very important to Western Europe and by extension the US and Russia, and 2) that the removal of the BMD plan didn't change anything.

 

Ukraine, Poland, Georgia and Romania are all places that Russia considers its sphere of exclusive influence. After the fall of the Soviet Union NATO pushed all the way in to the Baltics (to Russia's north Western border) and into the former Yugoslavia. This is a basic containment of Russia, it has no where to expand its influence. The the US/EU/NATO start caring parts out of Russia's old allies like Serbia with countries like Kosovo. Russian power is being sliced and diced and handed out to others. This is where Georgia and Ukraine come in.

 

You know the colour revolutions around the former Soviet states, such as the Orange in Ukraine, the Rose Revolution in Georgia, Velvet Revolution in Czech, Tulip in Kyrgyzstan, etc. They are all a swaying from the East to the West of former Soviet or Warsaw Pact states. They are trained and facilitated by groups such as Canvas and they are ultimately a product of US clandestine services. The US is already in Ukraine and Georgia, that much is obvious. Of course Yanukovic just wont he election in Ukraine but there will be another one in a few years and even popular unrest before then. The US helped install Saakashvili in Geogia and is still training their army now.

 

Russia hit back with the invasion of Georgia in August 2008 and sliced off S. Ossetia and Abkhazia just like the US sliced off Kosovo. Biden recently went to Romania recently and openly encouraged Romania and the other FSU states to actively encouge populations to overthrow authoritarian governments. In other words signaling further colour revolutions in Russia's backyard. Russia would like this to stop.

 

How does Russia place pressure on the US? They support Iran in the Middle East. Of course Russia does not want a nuclear armed Iran but if it were to happen that would be a much greater risk t the US than it would to Moscow. Russia is the second largest oil exporter and the largest gas exporter in the world. IT has very little use for the Middle East other than to fuck with the US. If Iran were to make nukes it would need Russian assistance in enrichment (which t gets), in rocket tech, in creating a nuclear device (just the bit that actually goes bang) and then weaponising it (which means creating a device that is small enough to fit in a warhead, is rugged enough to withstand the G-forces, can withstand the massive vibrations and the heat of missile travel), and then also field a defense force that can protect all this shit.

 

So Russia can essentially decide the speed and the progress of the Iranian nuclear development and that is just mentioning the above board stuff, then there is also the covert ways it can do it. If and when IRan does get 3, maybe 4 nukes they are going to be limited in deployment range and also limited in number. That means that they will be much more of a threat to the region than anyone else. They sure as fuck won't bother the largest land mass and well spread out population who have thousands of missiles with which to retaliate with. What they will do is blackmail the region in to having a pro-Iranian stance elevating Iran to a regional power status..., which it has already been before with the Persian empire.

 

That threatens the US because it is highly dependent on the resources from the Middle East.

 

So, Russia supplies nuke tech, 2500 nuclear scientists and threatens to sell Iran the means with which to defend it all..., all while telling the US to get out of its region. See the dynamic at play here? Russia doesn't want a nuke Iran but can deal with it if it happens. The US doesn't want a nuke Iran and cannot deal with it if it happens. Russia cannot deal with the US slowly creeping up and surrounding it from all sides so they use the threat of a nuclear armed Iran to leverage the US from Eastern Europe and the Caucuses.

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Wow, I just read what I wrote and it's a mess. I didn't get time to proof read it and it shows. Sorry about that!

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damn man that is an interesting read, really can't commend you enough on this thread, probably my new favourite on 12oz, come for the graffiti leave with a headache from trying to absorb all this after 2 hours sleep.

 

I find the Russian standpoint very interesting, I don't know much about Russia's views following the end of the cold war (mainly due to just thinking it was gangsters etc) but it is clear they are in quite a strong position and I would imagine America doesn't want to directly confront them over it incase they push the issue forward and then we have a nuclear Iran.

 

What is China's standpoint on a nuclear Iran, does it bother them at all? Do they just see it as a threat to the US and other western countries or would they suffer at all if Iran was equipped with nuclear weapons?

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Wow, I just read what I wrote and it's a mess. I didn't get time to proof read it and it shows. Sorry about that!

 

it all made perfect sense. with that post you confirmed and cleared quite a few things up that puzzled me ages. thanks.

 

Israel does not have the air assets or the fly over rights of Syria, Jordan and Iraq to conduct air raids on Iran

fly over rights dont bother israel much. and their f-16's can carry enough fuel to launch an air strike against iran. plus, they got 3 ("got" because they payed only 1 of them :mad:) specifically modified u-boats (dolphin class) from us. bunker-busters are another issue (i'm sure they are developing themselves) but imho israel definitely has the means to launch air-strikes against iran and pose serious damage, if not to their nuclear sites then at least to other stratetically relevant targets.

it's quite possible that the Russians may have started sending S-300 system parts to Iran and that Iran will announce this on the 11 of February (tomorrow) as part of the Revolution anniversary celebrations. Not saying that I know this o be the case but it's possible, and we won't have long to find out. Expect an announcement on something tomorrow+ anyway.

from what i have gathered, the iranians themselves have developed a domestic version of the s-300 which they will show at the celebrations, alongside some things that are supposedly able to rival the apache. don't quote me on it though, i'm also curious.

pac-3

basically nothing important to add to what you said except that it's radar range is 100 km, it does not reach kaliningrad. also, russia abandoned it's plans to install iskanders there. and on a side note: poland might be an important partner for the u.s. but for the e.u. they are most of the time annoying as fuck. the u.s. does a fairly good job instrumenting their fears and, well, little-man syndrome for it's own purposes.

You know the colour revolutions around the former Soviet states' date=' such as the Orange in Ukraine, the Rose Revolution ... a product of US clandestine services.[/quote']

the pattern was a bit too obvious. however people who are not interested in foreign-policy/international relations won't notice.

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The claim that CHina has bought Turkmenistan and that Russia is losing influence at a rapid rate I will take up later, if you are interested, .

yes, please do. i'm looking forward to it.

 

but for now I'll leave it at gasoline

don't forget that on 6th january turkmenistan and iran opened a new natural gas pipeline which is able to transport 20 billion cubic metres per annum. that way iran can cover the energy needs of it's northern regions and even sell natural gas to turkey.

 

sanctions against iran, UNSC

what sanctions do you have in mind, gasoline embargo? iran already has to cope with quite a few sanctions (u.s. complete economic embargo, frozen bank accounts in the e.u.) yet iran's income per capita has doubled since 2000 and economic growth is at 7% since 2007.

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Fantastic thread Christo thanks for bringing life to this stagnant heap of global warming debates and conspiracy theories.

 

Do you think Russia is still under the impression that it has a right to/can possibly have a lot of the former eastern bloc countries within it's exclusive sphere of influence now that they have joined the EU and are part of treaties that basically mean if Russia fucks with them they fuck with all of the EU and NATO?

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Just to answer yumone, yes absolutely they do. Buying the Mistral-Class ships from France and putting them in their Baltic fleet is intended to pressure NATO and EU members Estonia, Latvia Lithuania and Poland. There is a lot of worry that NATO has become a little toothless among some former FSU states after the US did nothing over Georgia. Even though Georgia was not NATO or EU the US had showed commitment to them but when crunch time came around the US sat on its hands.

 

That's not to say that the US should/could have done anything but the outcome is the same for the other new NATO/EU states. Russia is resurgent, there is a lot of living memory of Russia's behaviour pre-1991 and people don't want to risk that if they are overly obstructionist towards Russia's interests that Russia won't again fuck with them (think of the cyber attacks and riots caused by Nashi Youth in Estonia after they moved the Russian war memorial statue in Tallinn a few years back) and that the US will be too caught up in the Mid East to do anything about it.

 

NATO and the EU are not the end of history, at all. What was yesterday and is today is not set in stone for tomorrow. The League of Nations was supposed to stop major wars but it did nothing....

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NATO and the EU are not the end of history, at all. What was yesterday and is today is not set in stone for tomorrow. The League of Nations was supposed to stop major wars but it did nothing....

 

i feel the same way about the UN.

 

but forreals all this talk about irans AA missiles being bought from russia i dont feel pose as any crazy threat at all. israel time and time again has shown its ability to pull off the gnarliest of air raids. iraq in the 80s had top-of-line soviet anti-aircraft weapons and radars and still managed to lose its nuclear facilities to israeli planes.

 

all in all i feel that irans military is a joke in terms of "high-tech weaponry". irans only strong point is its ability to get 13 year olds to conduct human wave attacks on the enemy. thats the only reason they beat iraq in the iran-iraq war. its just that they have a determined well motivated population that will no doubt die to protect the country. that is why a war with the united states would be so devastating for both sides.

 

in terms of russia i feel that they too are a joke. not even sure that they have any operational submarines at the moment. at least ones that they can afford to run. the invasion on georgia proved that they still cant pull off even the simplest operations without a number of problems. i feel that they do all this saber rattling just to get their names in the paper and act like its 1982 and that they still are a big player on global affairs. yes they have a ton of oil and they still do have nuclear weapons, but still... common.

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