Russia. Again. But now Poland

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Russia. Again. But now Poland

Postby ACU-LP » Sat Aug 16, 2008 12:03 pm UTC

I couldnt find any topic on this, forgive me if I missed it (yes I used the search function). But I diverge.

Recently, Australian news has reported that Russia has now threatened Poland with a major (likely nuclear) offensive.
Now this is because Poland has agreed to allow America to stage a Missile Defense facility in their country, with a number of 10 missiles.

Before desicions are made on right or wrong; Russian law states that nuclear strikes can be actioned against Poland.
"It is written clearly: We will use it in instances against governments that have nuclear weapons; against allies of countries with nuclear weapons, if they somehow enable them,"

I think that Russia may be over-stepping their mark a little, but also that Poland has also been walking on thin ice; they know (or can easily find out about) Russian law, and know that Russia will nuke them if provoked.

Discussion on this? Also notable is Russia's recent actions in Georgia, which are still under question. Are we beginning a new, reviving the old, or just continuing the Cold War?
This could have a major impact on the world; but will it escalate to WWIII?
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Re: Russia. Again. But now Poland

Postby uildaan » Sat Aug 16, 2008 2:02 pm UTC

The key word there is provoked though. These missiles are solely defense and while Russia may not like them being there Poland has become too major a country for them to do anything militarily.

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Re: Russia. Again. But now Poland

Postby athelas » Sat Aug 16, 2008 6:33 pm UTC

Empty threat, let's hope. But it is a sign that Russia is becoming more aggressive and adversarial, and an eye needs to be kept.

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Re: Russia. Again. But now Poland

Postby sebas » Sat Aug 16, 2008 10:15 pm UTC

You cannot over-simplify a problem for the sake of general agreement. :)

For starters, since you've mentioned Gerogia, Russia did not start the conflict, Georgia did by attacking the region of South Ossetia.
In the first hours of August 8, 2008, a mass incursion of Georgian troops and armour to a South Ossetian-controlled territory and repeated shelling of Tskhinvali began. AFP, quoting a spokesman of the Georgian Interior Ministry, stated that three Russian Sukhoi Su-24 aircraft had intruded on Georgian airspace, attacking some targets in the Tskhinvali region. On the same day, twelve Russian peacekeepers were killed and nearly 150 injured.

What Russia did was react to their citizens being killed. They did so in a very blunt and violent manner, by launching operations to cripple the infrastructure and military power of Georgia. You could say they did so in order to prevent another georgian incursion in the future. Also, the russians are pressuring for a change in the georgian government, which has probably something to do with South Ossetia's desires for independence. Or the unification with North Ossetia under the Russian Federation that has also been mentioned by the proposed South Ossetian government.

You mention threats regarding an imminent nuclear attack to be launched on Poland. When and why would be key questions. Poland has publicly supported Georgia in the conflict but only in words. Also, Russia has signed and ratified the CTBT. Breaking it would most likely have devastating effects on our world and I hope and believe that the leaders of today have the understanting to not do so.

On the other hand, it is very true that Russia has, at least when looking over the past century, a very bloody history.
Lenin - 7.300.000 victims
Stalin - 20.000.000 victims
Hrushciov - 3.000.000 victims
Brejhnev - 2.000.000 victims
Eltin - 100.000 victims
Putin - 4000 victims
(I know the numbers are not accurate but it's late and I'm too lazy to look them up :P )
So, yeah, I understand the skepticism and concern.
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Re: Russia. Again. But now Poland

Postby athelas » Sat Aug 16, 2008 11:46 pm UTC

sebas wrote:You cannot over-simplify a problem for the sake of general agreement. :)

For starters, since you've mentioned Gerogia, Russia did not start the conflict, Georgia did by attacking the region of South Ossetia.
True, Georgia may have performed the triggering action of the war, and have gotten pwn3d. But Russia's explanation doesn't wash. The Economist sez:
Russia has made perfunctory attempts to justify the invasion. It claimed that it was defending Russian citizens. This excuse, as Sweden’s foreign minister tartly noted, recalled Hitler’s justifications of Nazi invasions. Anyway, most of the “Russian citizens” in South Ossetia and Abkhazia had been handed their passports fairly recently, presumably in preparation for this foray.

Similarly, Russian attempts to draw analogies with NATO’s bombing of Serbia in 1999 and its encouragement of Kosovo’s independence, or with the American-led invasion of Iraq, do not wash. The latest fighting in South Ossetia may have been triggered by the Georgians, but it was largely engineered by the Russians, who have, over the years, fanned the flames of the conflict. As for the Iraqi parallel, not even the Russians pretend that Mr Saakashvili has ever been a threat to his neighbours and to the world.

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Re: Russia. Again. But now Poland

Postby ACU-LP » Sun Aug 17, 2008 12:58 am UTC

Some good points people are making.
sebas wrote:You cannot over-simplify a problem for the sake of general agreement. :)

For starters, since you've mentioned Gerogia, Russia did not start the conflict, Georgia did by attacking the region of South Ossetia.
In the first hours of August 8, 2008, a mass incursion of Georgian troops and armour to a South Ossetian-controlled territory and repeated shelling of Tskhinvali began. AFP, quoting a spokesman of the Georgian Interior Ministry, stated that three Russian Sukhoi Su-24 aircraft had intruded on Georgian airspace, attacking some targets in the Tskhinvali region. On the same day, twelve Russian peacekeepers were killed and nearly 150 injured.

What Russia did was react to their citizens being killed. They did so in a very blunt and violent manner, by launching operations to cripple the infrastructure and military power of Georgia. You could say they did so in order to prevent another georgian incursion in the future. Also, the russians are pressuring for a change in the georgian government, which has probably something to do with South Ossetia's desires for independence. Or the unification with North Ossetia under the Russian Federation that has also been mentioned by the proposed South Ossetian government.

You mention threats regarding an imminent nuclear attack to be launched on Poland. When and why would be key questions. Poland has publicly supported Georgia in the conflict but only in words. Also, Russia has signed and ratified the CTBT. Breaking it would most likely have devastating effects on our world and I hope and believe that the leaders of today have the understanting to not do so.

On the other hand, it is very true that Russia has, at least when looking over the past century, a very bloody history.
Lenin - 7.300.000 victims
Stalin - 20.000.000 victims
Hrushciov - 3.000.000 victims
Brejhnev - 2.000.000 victims
Eltin - 100.000 victims
Putin - 4000 victims
(I know the numbers are not accurate but it's late and I'm too lazy to look them up :P )
So, yeah, I understand the skepticism and concern.

Keep in mind guys there is another thread for the discussion about Georgia an Russia (in which I did mention Georgia fired the first shot). I know what happened with Georgia is integral to this, but we seem to be concentrating on it.
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Re: Russia. Again. But now Poland

Postby tgjensen » Sun Aug 17, 2008 5:55 pm UTC

While the threat of nuclear warfare is completely disgusting, I just don't understand what the hell the US is doing setting up a missile shield in Poland. Poland? Who the hell are they trying to defend themselves against? Who are equipped with missiles with that range, and what would they be targetting? And knowing exactly how intimidated Russia feels about this missile shield, and how aggressive they can be, is the benefit really worth the risk?

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Re: Russia. Again. But now Poland

Postby telcontar42 » Sun Aug 17, 2008 6:13 pm UTC

I think the US is claiming thta the missle defense is to protect from an attack from Iran or other "rogue nations". Poland is not exactly right next to Iran, but its a lot closer than the US. I'm guessing that location makes some strategic sense.

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Re: Russia. Again. But now Poland

Postby luketheduke » Sun Aug 17, 2008 6:58 pm UTC

The USA only want that missile shield for two things:

1. piss off annoy russia
2. gain power in the region (region probably being central and eastern europe)

As far as I know.

There is no military logic in putting missiles and radar into Poland to protect the USA from Iran that I am aware of.
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Re: Russia. Again. But now Poland

Postby Willis888 » Sun Aug 17, 2008 8:15 pm UTC

I wonder how hard it would be to re-target a "defensive" missile and swap the conventional warhead for a nuke? I think it would be a lot harder for Russia to find a counter measure for a missile launched from relatively nearby compared to an ICBM or incoming long range bomber.
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Re: Russia. Again. But now Poland

Postby roc314 » Sun Aug 17, 2008 9:02 pm UTC

I'm going to have to agree with those against Poland having US missiles. Didn't the same thing happen in Turkey recently, where the US wanted to add missiles there, and Russia started threatening war? If you know that Russia will start large conflicts if you put missiles right next to the border, why do it?

Besides, didn't this already happen in the 60s as the Cuban Missile Crisis? The US threatened nuclear war when the USSR tried to put missiles in Cuba. So anyone saying that Russia is being unreasonable: fine, but don't pretend that the US is any better.
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Re: Russia. Again. But now Poland

Postby TheStranger » Sun Aug 17, 2008 9:19 pm UTC

roc314 wrote:Besides, didn't this already happen in the 60s as the Cuban Missile Crisis? The US threatened nuclear war when the USSR tried to put missiles in Cuba. So anyone saying that Russia is being unreasonable: fine, but don't pretend that the US is any better.


The difference is that the missiles in Cuba were offensive, the ones being put in Poland are missile interceptors (ABMs) to shield Europe against the Middle East (read Iran).
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Re: Russia. Again. But now Poland

Postby roc314 » Mon Aug 18, 2008 12:25 am UTC

TheStranger wrote:The difference is that the missiles in Cuba were offensive, the ones being put in Poland are missile interceptors (ABMs) to shield Europe against the Middle East (read Iran).


First off, a quote:
Willis888 wrote:I wonder how hard it would be to re-target a "defensive" missile and swap the conventional warhead for a nuke? I think it would be a lot harder for Russia to find a counter measure for a missile launched from relatively nearby compared to an ICBM or incoming long range bomber.


I'm not sure I blame Russia for not wanting to trust its security to the goodwill of a country it is frequently at odds with. If they let "defensive" missiles in, what is to stop the US from putting offensive weapons in?
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Re: Russia. Again. But now Poland

Postby TheStranger » Mon Aug 18, 2008 2:02 am UTC

Willis888 wrote:I wonder how hard it would be to re-target a "defensive" missile and swap the conventional warhead for a nuke? I think it would be a lot harder for Russia to find a counter measure for a missile launched from relatively nearby compared to an ICBM or incoming long range bomber.


That question relates to the technical aspects of the program. Wouldn't a good ABM be a 'sprinter' (one able to cross a short distance very quickly rather then able to cross a long distance)? A good ABM would also have to be highly maneuverable to hit an incoming missile. Neither of these things lend them selves well to a strategic weapon (unable to cross a great distance with a large payload).

roc314 wrote:I'm not sure I blame Russia for not wanting to trust its security to the goodwill of a country it is frequently at odds with. If they let "defensive" missiles in, what is to stop the US from putting offensive weapons in?


Well they don't have to, when they can develop their own.

In all seriousness though effective ABM is a destabilizing technology, it breaks the old strategy of MAD. However, historically, the advantage has never followed those who ignore or attempt to stifle a new technology.
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Re: Russia. Again. But now Poland

Postby Tulevik » Mon Aug 18, 2008 2:43 am UTC

Russia is most likely angry because they see their dominance in the region being threatened. They are losing Georgia to the West (i.e. the government is trying to ally itself with NATO, US, etc.), as well as several other countries that they were formerly allied with, such as the Ukraine, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and now Poland. They know that they are slowly losing power, and are resorting to a belligerent foreign policy which seems to be based more around brinkmanship (in this case) than negotiation or discussion.

However, I believe that this was as much a move to defend NATO from Russia as it was to defend it from Iran. While they cannot outright say this because doing so would cause enormous diplomatic crises, Russia hasn't always been the most rational country on the planet. I don't think that nukes will be used, because they ensure mutual annihilation. However, this (in an extreme circumstance) could lead to some military action. Russia has been itching for a fight, and Georgia has been a perfect example of that.

In short, I approve of Poland's decision, but in the long run, this may cause unexpected consequences. Putin's still running the country (although through Medvedev), and I don't trust him one bit.

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Re: Russia. Again. But now Poland

Postby roc314 » Mon Aug 18, 2008 3:06 am UTC

Yes Russia is looking to increase its influence in the area, but isn't the other power behind most of this--the USA--doing the same? This seems to be one of those situations where both sides are in the wrong. Russia is looking to use Georgia and these potential missiles as a medium to increase its influence; the US is trying to use threats of terrorism to increase its influence.

Looking from inside the USA, not putting up missiles of any kind in Poland would be best for national security. Avoiding provoking Russia to the point of war would be a good thing. If this missile shield is up, how long is it before Russia uses it as a "threat" to their security as an excuse to invade more countries? It took relatively little for Russia to invade Georgia, I don't see them not using this as an opportunity to start a much larger war. Why needlessly provoke them?
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Re: Russia. Again. But now Poland

Postby frezik » Mon Aug 18, 2008 3:31 am UTC

roc314 wrote:I'm going to have to agree with those against Poland having US missiles. Didn't the same thing happen in Turkey recently, where the US wanted to add missiles there, and Russia started threatening war? If you know that Russia will start large conflicts if you put missiles right next to the border, why do it?

Besides, didn't this already happen in the 60s as the Cuban Missile Crisis? The US threatened nuclear war when the USSR tried to put missiles in Cuba. So anyone saying that Russia is being unreasonable: fine, but don't pretend that the US is any better.


In fact, the original reason Russia wanted to put missiles in Cuba was because the US had missiles in Turkey:

Wiki wrote:In 1961, the U.S. deployed 15 Jupiter IRBMs (intermediate-range ballistic missiles) at İzmir, Turkey, aimed at the western USSR's cities, including Moscow. Given its 1,500-mile (2,410 km) range, Moscow was only 16 minutes away. Yet, Kennedy gave them low strategic value, given that a SSBN submarine provided the same magnitude of threat, and from a distance.

Khrushchev publicly expressed anger and personal offense from the Turkish missile emplacement. The Cuban missile deployment — the first time Soviet missiles were outside the USSR — was his response to U.S. nuclear missiles in Turkey.[12]
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Re: Russia. Again. But now Poland

Postby ACU-LP » Mon Aug 18, 2008 8:17 am UTC

Learning more about the matter (and seeing other's, probably wiser views) I personally have the view that Poland should not be putting up the missile defense system, its effectively antagonising an aready pissed off country with strong armed forces and an array of nuclear weapons not to mention other military technology.

Also, if you make enough empty threats, or full threats that you do not action, its like crying wolf. So would I be right in thinking if countries keep antagonising Russia like this, they will have to actually strike? Not just lightly, but with major military action? I doubt nuclear missiles would be a first strike, due to the nuclear stalemate between every developed and some undeveloped countries armed with nukes. However we are human, our baser instincts cause conflicts and we are fallable. Is it all too unlikely? Has this all already gone too far?

America, and more to the point, every country will have to be VERY careful in these times.
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Re: Russia. Again. But now Poland

Postby Tulevik » Mon Aug 18, 2008 12:19 pm UTC

roc314 wrote:Why needlessly provoke them?


I do not support the provocation of Russia on its own. However, I feel that there is a certain line where a country should be able to make its own decisions without being threatened by its neighbors. Unless there is something that the US, Poland and Russia aren't telling us, these missiles only have defensive uses. If this is the case, why does Russia care? Their national security is not at stake because of these defensive emplacements, only the national security of the countries actually being threatened.

In my eyes, Russia is the schoolyard bully, and by giving in to their whims and letting them get away with actions as inexcusable as this, one is essentially giving them carte blanche to do as they please. They will know that they can scare and intimidate the smaller nations as they please. Where does it end? If anything, more countries should stand up to them, so that their power wanes and they have to think twice about threatening nuclear war with others.

So, while I do not support the provocation of Russia for the sake of provoking Russia, these countries should be allowed to make their own decisions without fear of reprisals for ridiculous reasons.

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Re: Russia. Again. But now Poland

Postby EstLladon » Mon Aug 18, 2008 12:36 pm UTC

Tulevik wrote:
roc314 wrote:Why needlessly provoke them?


I do not support the provocation of Russia on its own. However, I feel that there is a certain line where a country should be able to make its own decisions without being threatened by its neighbors. Unless there is something that the US, Poland and Russia aren't telling us, these missiles only have defensive uses. If this is the case, why does Russia care? Their national security is not at stake because of these defensive emplacements, only the national security of the countries actually being threatened.

Military design is quite a good design usually. If I was to design defensive missiles I would totally design them to be easily convertible to offensive ones.

In my eyes, Russia is the schoolyard bully, and by giving in to their whims and letting them get away with actions as inexcusable as this, one is essentially giving them carte blanche to do as they please. They will know that they can scare and intimidate the smaller nations as they please. Where does it end? If anything, more countries should stand up to them, so that their power wanes and they have to think twice about threatening nuclear war with others.

It is funny, but I actually made a comparison between a country's policies and a schoolyard bully. But that was USA and it was sometime ago.


And dear people living in USA, please do not elect McCain. Or this type of bullshit will only escalate.
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Re: Russia. Again. But now Poland

Postby Gunfingers » Mon Aug 18, 2008 1:04 pm UTC

EstLladon wrote:Military design is quite a good design usually. If I was to design defensive missiles I would totally design them to be easily convertible to offensive ones.

Military design is usually quite specialized design. Besides, as mentioned earlier we've got nukes in Turkey. Why would we even need to use chicanery about these?
EstLladon wrote:It is funny, but I actually made a comparison between a country's policies and a schoolyard bully. But that was USA and it was sometime ago.


And dear people living in USA, please do not elect McCain. Or this type of bullshit will only escalate.

Has telling citizens of other countries how to vote ever gone well?

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Re: Russia. Again. But now Poland

Postby EstLladon » Mon Aug 18, 2008 1:17 pm UTC

Has telling citizens of other countries how to vote ever gone well?


I'm sorry. Maybe it is wrong, but living where I am I tend to see the processes of "voting" and "electing" to be different :D .

I actually cannot do anything about your election. Read that part of my post as "I hope Obama wins".
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Re: Russia. Again. But now Poland

Postby doc leech » Mon Aug 18, 2008 1:24 pm UTC

EstLladon wrote:Military design is quite a good design usually. If I was to design defensive missiles I would totally design them to be easily convertible to offensive ones.


Some military design is rather good, but I would add that it is often of such high quality because of its focused role on the battlefield. I very much doubt intercepter missiles can be converted into anything other than paperweights.
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Re: Russia. Again. But now Poland

Postby mosc » Mon Aug 18, 2008 4:01 pm UTC

As humorous as it is to make fun of Poland as insignificant and backwards, it's actually the oldest democracy in Europe (although that didn't last long) and an adamant US supporter. Woodrow Wilson is highly celebrated there (mostly because of the league of nations role in the creation of the modern state). In addition to that, Poland is an EU member and strategically located in the path between most of Russia and the rest of Europe.

The context here is also more about the hotly debated strategic missile shield. Russia is worried about loosing it's nuclear threat on the rest of the world. Poland is a key strategic location for this as are most other countries around the rim of Asia (Alaska, Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, Israel, Turkey, Poland, surely you see the geographic trend in the places the US shows interest?)
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Re: Russia. Again. But now Poland

Postby Socal Swimmer » Mon Aug 18, 2008 5:19 pm UTC

doc leech wrote:
EstLladon wrote:Military design is quite a good design usually. If I was to design defensive missiles I would totally design them to be easily convertible to offensive ones.


Some military design is rather good, but I would add that it is often of such high quality because of its focused role on the battlefield. I very much doubt intercepter missiles can be converted into anything other than paperweights.


I agree. The size, shape, and overall design of interceptor missiles makes them terribly suited toward use as offensive weapons. It is much easier to fire real ICBMs from a sub or place covert icbms somewhere than do some half-assed conversion project.

On Russia:

I think that Russia is doing poorly in the world, and the only hope they really have left is their strong military. They have not, lately and on the past, done a good job using their natural resources to their benefit. This leaves them in the
position of getting left behind in the world unless they can start a war. One good excise to do so lies with this problem, in Poland.
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Re: Russia. Again. But now Poland

Postby sebas » Mon Aug 18, 2008 6:18 pm UTC

You should really update your view on Russia then. Here's a very summarized link.
Russia is one of, if not the biggest energetical power. Some countries actually "depend" on their gas exports.

As for Poland, well, sure, it's a NATO (which pretty much means US) supporter, like most of the ex-communist countries. If we look at a military base map though, it's kind of hard to believe that they'd just agree to a missile shield. Maybe Romania since they already have a US military base there.

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The US and Russia have been adversaries for the past century. How do you expect Russia to take the installemnt of a missile shield lightly? And no, "the US is fair/peaceful" argument does not hold because the rules of war state that the winner is right and the loser is wrong. This especially when Russia has a very..uhm..dictatorial leader, Putin, who has proved in the past that he will not waste too much time with words.
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Re: Russia. Again. But now Poland

Postby wirehead » Mon Aug 18, 2008 11:05 pm UTC

Meh. There's still tons of bad blood towards the Russians in Poland.

I mean, Poland's been invaded by Russians twice in the past few centuries. Plus, the Russians sat there towards the end of World War II while the Warsaw Uprising was going on until the Germans had slaughtered them... and THEN marched in and kicked the Germans out, so that nobody would protest their post-WWII plans for Europe.

So, pretty much for the entire past 200 years, Poland has gotten much more friendlies from Western Europe than Eastern Europe.

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Re: Russia. Again. But now Poland

Postby Flectarn » Tue Aug 19, 2008 1:29 am UTC

TheStranger wrote:
roc314 wrote:Besides, didn't this already happen in the 60s as the Cuban Missile Crisis? The US threatened nuclear war when the USSR tried to put missiles in Cuba. So anyone saying that Russia is being unreasonable: fine, but don't pretend that the US is any better.


The difference is that the missiles in Cuba were offensive, the ones being put in Poland are missile interceptors (ABMs) to shield Europe against the Middle East (read Iran).

It's important to remember the flip side of the cuban missile crisis. ie, the US Tactical Nukes sitting in Turkey

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Re: Russia. Again. But now Poland

Postby Willis888 » Tue Aug 19, 2008 1:52 am UTC

wirehead wrote:Plus, the Russians sat there towards the end of World War II while the Warsaw Uprising was going on until the Germans had slaughtered them... and THEN marched in and kicked the Germans out, so that nobody would protest their post-WWII plans for Europe.


Isn't that kinda what America did at the beginning of the war? Sit there and let Russians die?
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Re: Russia. Again. But now Poland

Postby TheStranger » Tue Aug 19, 2008 2:12 am UTC

Flectarn wrote: It's important to remember the flip side of the cuban missile crisis. ie, the US Tactical Nukes sitting in Turkey


How does that relate to the current defensive missiles being put in Poland?
Last edited by TheStranger on Tue Aug 19, 2008 10:48 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Russia. Again. But now Poland

Postby Tulevik » Tue Aug 19, 2008 3:16 am UTC

sebas wrote: @Tulevik
The US and Russia have been adversaries for the past century. How do you expect Russia to take the installemnt of a missile shield lightly? And no, "the US is fair/peaceful" argument does not hold because the rules of war state that the winner is right and the loser is wrong. This especially when Russia has a very..uhm..dictatorial leader, Putin, who has proved in the past that he will not waste too much time with words.


The point I was trying to stress in my previous points was that the missile shield doesn't actually pose a threat to Russia's sovereignty, only to the tight grip that they have over the former Warsaw pact countries. It is unfair for them to use threats of nuclear attack simply to coerce a country that doesn't belong to them anymore. *Before I continue, I would like to highlight that I do not support any country doing this, be it Russia, China, the US, whatever.* It's extremely unjust for a country to be threatened in such a way, especially for an action that is meant to save lives, not destroy them.

The more the world lets an aggressive, irrational and unpredictable foreign power get away with these actions, the more they will be tempted to continue. Remember the bully analogy I used? If the bully threatens one child and manages to get something out of it (lunch money, a toy, etc), they are likely to continue doing this to others if they go unpunished. My only problem is coming up with an appropriate punishment for Russia.

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Re: Russia. Again. But now Poland

Postby BattleMoose » Tue Aug 19, 2008 6:36 am UTC

Willis888 wrote:
wirehead wrote:Plus, the Russians sat there towards the end of World War II while the Warsaw Uprising was going on until the Germans had slaughtered them... and THEN marched in and kicked the Germans out, so that nobody would protest their post-WWII plans for Europe.


Isn't that kinda what America did at the beginning of the war? Sit there and let Russians die?


Erh, just no. And the Warsaw uprising took place with the intent of helping the Russian advance, with full expectation that the Russians would come an relieve the city, situation is just not similiar, anywho.

I think any move which will ubset the balance of power in a region should be analysed more critically. By a installing missile shield in Poland, (not sure of their range or real intent) it changes the balance of power, causing Russia to be weaker in that region. It's reasonable to expect Russia to get pissed off by this, also theres the inherent insult undercurrent saying that, we need this shield because of your aggresive behaviour and we inherently do not trust you.

Although the move is defensive in nature, it can also be used to enhance offensive actions, giving security to force in Poland from a nuclear strike for example, which can then be used for offensive action. Or, that next perhaps the USA installs intermediate tactical nukes in Poland, which are safe because of the pre-installed shield?

I am heavily suspicious of its "purely a defensive move." It's going to upset the balance of power in the region, which is NEVER a good thing and is going to piss of Russia. Are the criticisms here really correctly focussed on Russia, I am more inclined to critise the USA for antagonising a "rival." (For want of a better word?)

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Re: Russia. Again. But now Poland

Postby scarecrovv » Tue Aug 19, 2008 4:18 pm UTC

I happen to be an American, so understand that the views I express here are probably slanted in favor of the US, though I can't actually see anything wrong with them myself. Though take what I say with a grain of salt if you wish.

IMO, it's perfectly obvious that the ABMs going to Poland are meant for defending against Middle Eastern countries like Iran, and not Russia, because they pose only an infinitesimal threat to Russia's second strike capability. Each ABM is good for one ICBM. There are 10 ABMs. Therefore, they can only shoot down 10 ICBMs, and that's on a good day, and assumes that the ICBMs don't have MIRVs. How many nuclear warheads are the Iranians likely to be able to toss around? Probably fewer than 10, assuming they have any at all (though that's a different debate, and I'm not sure where I stand on it). How many ICBMs does Russia have? Hundreds at a minimum, and probably thousands. If they decided to launch a nuclear attack, all they need to do is launch 11 missiles and they've got one past the defenses stationed in Poland.

Russia knows perfectly well that they could easily overwhelm these missiles without skipping a beat. So why are they so angry? The possibilities abound, but my personal theory is that they don't want Poland setting precedents for things they don't like, namely:
- Former Soviet satellite states opposing Russia on any issue.
- The later installation of a larger missile shield with the number of interceptors on par with the number of their offensive missiles (no matter how expensive, and therefore unlikely that would be).

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Re: Russia. Again. But now Poland

Postby Scaredcrow » Tue Aug 19, 2008 6:06 pm UTC

Two points... and if my historical fact is incorrect please correct me.

First: The US took it's ICBM's out of Turkey several months after the Cuban Missile Crisis as part of an agreement that removed weapons from Cuba and also let Kennedy save face while giving in to most of the Russian demands. They pulled theirs off our doorstep and we took ours off theirs.

Second: I think it can be argued that, if these interceptors work at all, which is questionable, they would be put their as a defense of US military instillations in Europe and European allies, not of the US mainland. If this is the case, they would simply allow a European nuclear power to gain an advantage in a second strike. This would only lead me to question if these interceptor missiles could be used effectively to protect western Russian cities.
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Re: Russia. Again. But now Poland

Postby BattleMoose » Tue Aug 19, 2008 7:31 pm UTC

Interestingly, from wiki

Various technical, economic and political problems led to the ABM treaty of 1972, which restricted the deployment of strategic (not tactical) anti-ballistic missiles.

Under the ABM treaty and a 1974 revision, each country was allowed to deploy a single ABM system with only 100 interceptors to protect a single target. The Soviets deployed a system named A-35 (using Galosh interceptors), designed to protect Moscow. The U.S. deployed Safeguard (using Spartan/Sprint interceptors) to defend ballistic missile sites at Grand Forks Air Force Base, North Dakota, in 1975. The U.S. Safeguard system was only briefly operational. The Russian system (now called A-135) has been improved and is still active around Moscow.

On June 13, 2002, the United States withdrew from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty and subsequently recommenced developing missile defense systems that would have formerly been prohibited by the bilateral treaty. This action was taken under the auspices of needing to defend against the possibility of a missile attack conducted by a rogue state.


I really am not sure how these missiles work exactly, in terms of range, where they need to be relative to the target and launch site in order to be effective, if someone had that info, it could help clear things up here abit. If the concern really is from a launch from Iran, at Poland or Europe, well, Poland is very far away from Iran, Iraq is alot closer, wouldnt Iraq be a much better site to deploy interceptor missiles, in order to intercept missiles from Iran? (Honestly I don't know.)

Then theres the fact that Iran doesn't have a nuclear weapon and (I am damn near certain) lacks any kind of ICBM technology. (Anyone have info on this?) And considering USA's lack of military intelligence in terms of Iraqs weapons of mass destruction, they can hardly be trusted.

Then there is the timing of the installation of this missile shield, directly related to Russias involvement with Georgia and South Ossetia, negotiations with Poland to install these missiles has been on going for over a year, and suddenly USA ups the offer to go ahead, this installation is directly related to Russian politics.

The conclusions that I am drawing here are either:

A. Missiles are to defend Europe against Russia from any possible future aggression.

B. More likely tho, to purposely piss Russia off, demonstrate American strength in the region, flex a few muscles, to prove some kind of dominance over Russia. There seems to be this idea that Russia needs to be punished and cannot come out of this Georgian incident as a "winner", and I think that this is what this shield is all about, purely political.

C. Perhaps to have military assets in the region which can be used as an excuse to become further involved in the region as future events may allow? This may be viewed as a higher priority after Russian demonstration of strength in Georgia? Probably a combination of B or C?

Thoughts?

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Re: Russia. Again. But now Poland

Postby Gunfingers » Tue Aug 19, 2008 8:07 pm UTC

This has a list of various ICBMs, if you look at their individual pages you can find range and speed information. The number i was quoted in high school is that a nuke could go from the US to Russia (or vice versa) in half an hour.

Edit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ICBM is the URL i meant to put in there.

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Re: Russia. Again. But now Poland

Postby btilly » Tue Aug 19, 2008 8:23 pm UTC

tgjensen wrote:While the threat of nuclear warfare is completely disgusting, I just don't understand what the hell the US is doing setting up a missile shield in Poland. Poland? Who the hell are they trying to defend themselves against? Who are equipped with missiles with that range, and what would they be targetting? And knowing exactly how intimidated Russia feels about this missile shield, and how aggressive they can be, is the benefit really worth the risk?

They are purportedly defending themselves against intercontinental missiles from Iran.

The idea is that the radar system is somewhere like Czechoslovakia, sees the attack missiles, and the defending missiles launch farther along the trajectory so they have time to get in the air and set an intercept course. That is why the interceptor missiles need to be away from Iran.
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Re: Russia. Again. But now Poland

Postby BattleMoose » Tue Aug 19, 2008 8:53 pm UTC

btilly wrote:
tgjensen wrote:While the threat of nuclear warfare is completely disgusting, I just don't understand what the hell the US is doing setting up a missile shield in Poland. Poland? Who the hell are they trying to defend themselves against? Who are equipped with missiles with that range, and what would they be targetting? And knowing exactly how intimidated Russia feels about this missile shield, and how aggressive they can be, is the benefit really worth the risk?

They are purportedly defending themselves against intercontinental missiles from Iran.

The idea is that the radar system is somewhere like Czechoslovakia, sees the attack missiles, and the defending missiles launch farther along the trajectory so they have time to get in the air and set an intercept course. That is why the interceptor missiles need to be away from Iran.


It doesn't add up. If thats the case, then why not put them in France, or UK or somewhere in Scandinavia and not piss Russia off. Read my earlier post for a more complete opinion, but the whole point seems to be to piss Russia off.

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Re: Russia. Again. But now Poland

Postby Swordfish » Tue Aug 19, 2008 8:57 pm UTC

Willis888 wrote:Isn't that kinda what America did at the beginning of the war? Sit there and let Russians die?


I love it. In every war since World War II the US gets criticized for getting involved in a war on the other side of the world, but for World War II the US gets criticized for not getting involved in a war on the other side of the world earlier than they did.

Anyway to prove that the quoted statement is completely wrong, here is a list of what supplies Russia received from the US from mid-1941 (before the US was in the war) up until the end of the war: 14,795 aircraft, 7,056 tanks, 51,503 Jeeps, 375,883 trucks, 35,170 motorcycles, 8,071 tractors, 8,218 guns, 131,633 machine guns, 345,735 tons of explosives, $10,910,000 (1941 USD) worth of building equipment, 11,155 railroad cars, 1,981 locomotives, 90 cargo ships, 105 submarine hunters, 197 torpedo boats, 7,784 ship engines, 4,487,000 tons of food, $1,000,000,000+ worth of other machinery and equipment, and a myriad of other supplies.

tl;dr: Half of the equipment of the Red Army during World War II had "Made in U.S.A." stamped on it. I wouldn't exactly qualify that as sitting there and letting the Russians die.

Anyway, back to the matter at hand...

I'd be the first person to say that the current administration we have here in the US is, well, I'd say "abysmal" but I think that might be too generous a word. That being said, I really think the Russians are somewhat overreacting to this, especially considering that the US has offered to let Russia in on the development of the missile defense technology. In addition, I recall hearing this but it may be wrong as I can't find anything to back it up, but I think the US has even offered to put one of the radars in Russia. In any event, it isn't as though Poland and the Czech Republic are being coerced into this, both nations have said that they want to host their respective parts of the system, and have also said that Moscow basically has no business getting involved in this.

Though Iran seems to be the administration's main target as why they need this shield, they also state "other rogue nations." While I am of the opinion of most of the others here that Iran doesn't have nuclear weapons nor do they have the capability to project any sort of power toward Europe, there is another nation in the Middle East that could very well become one of those "rogue nations" in possession of, and with the ability to launch nuclear weapons. Pakistan isn't exactly the most stable nation in the world right now, the current government is almost constantly in danger of being overthrown in favor of a violently anti-west one. They do have nuclear weapons, and they do have short to intermediate range missiles with which to launch the weapons. I'm not sure if they have the range to reach Europe now, but I do think they have the know-how to develop it.

Is there some saber rattling here? Yes, there always is but Russia doesn't seem to know that (at least before the mess in Georgia started) the US doesn't see them as an enemy.
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Re: Russia. Again. But now Poland

Postby scarecrovv » Tue Aug 19, 2008 9:08 pm UTC

BattleMoose wrote:I really am not sure how these missiles work exactly, in terms of range, where they need to be relative to the target and launch site in order to be effective, if someone had that info, it could help clear things up here abit. If the concern really is from a launch from Iran, at Poland or Europe, well, Poland is very far away from Iran, Iraq is alot closer, wouldnt Iraq be a much better site to deploy interceptor missiles, in order to intercept missiles from Iran? (Honestly I don't know.)

btilly wrote:The idea is that the radar system is somewhere like Czechoslovakia, sees the attack missiles, and the defending missiles launch farther along the trajectory so they have time to get in the air and set an intercept course. That is why the interceptor missiles need to be away from Iran.

Also, putting the system in Iraq would be an extremely bad idea, due to it's high probability of being attacked by suicide bombers, and the fact that we're trying our hardest to get out of Iraq while saving face. Leaving behind a high value asset like that just doesn't make sense, so we'd only have to move it again later.

BattleMoose wrote:It doesn't add up. If thats the case, then why not put them in France, or UK or somewhere in Scandinavia and not piss Russia off. Read my earlier post for a more complete opinion, but the whole point seems to be to piss Russia off.


I haven't done any math, but it doesn't seem likely that if Iran or Pakistan launched a missile at somewhere in the southern or eastern half of Europe, a missile based in France, the UK, or Scandinavia would be able to arrange an intercept before the warhead reentered the atmosphere.

BattleMoose wrote:Then theres the fact that Iran doesn't have a nuclear weapon and (I am damn near certain) lacks any kind of ICBM technology. (Anyone have info on this?) And considering USA's lack of military intelligence in terms of Iraqs weapons of mass destruction, they can hardly be trusted.

Then there is the timing of the installation of this missile shield, directly related to Russias involvement with Georgia and South Ossetia, negotiations with Poland to install these missiles has been on going for over a year, and suddenly USA ups the offer to go ahead, this installation is directly related to Russian politics.

The conclusions that I am drawing here are either:

A. Missiles are to defend Europe against Russia from any possible future aggression.

B. More likely tho, to purposely piss Russia off, demonstrate American strength in the region, flex a few muscles, to prove some kind of dominance over Russia. There seems to be this idea that Russia needs to be punished and cannot come out of this Georgian incident as a "winner", and I think that this is what this shield is all about, purely political.

C. Perhaps to have military assets in the region which can be used as an excuse to become further involved in the region as future events may allow? This may be viewed as a higher priority after Russian demonstration of strength in Georgia? Probably a combination of B or C?

Thoughts?


About reason A: the missiles can't possibly be to defend against Russia, because the proposed ABMs would only intercept 10 ICBMs, and Russia could easily sling a hundred times that many ICBMs if they wanted to.

Reasons B and C: Either one (or both) is a possibility. However, I think that the Polish also had motivations to push this through Right Now. Poland saw what was going on in Georgia, got scared, and suddenly decided to settle for less, bringing their request for military aid to down to a point where the US and Poland could compromise. That would place a high value US asset in Poland, and ensure that the US wouldn't let the Russians do to Poland what they did to Georgia. Poland on it's own wouldn't be able to intimidate Russia, but if they could give the US a definite reason to defend them (which they have effectively done), then they would feel a lot safer.


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