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Foreign Affairs / World News
« on: January 06, 2022, 09:40:52 AM »

Online Roy H.

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Quote
Russian troops landed in Kazakhstan on Thursday after a call for help from the Central Asian country’s president amid sweeping anti-government protests — a major test of a Moscow-led military alliance as the Kremlin deepened its role in the crisis.

“Dozens” of demonstrators were killed, a Kazakh official said, as security forces tried to quell protests that began with outrage over a fuel price hike but have grown into a challenge to a political system largely unchanged since the end of the Soviet Union three decades ago.

It is the first time the Collective Security Treaty Organization, founded after the dissolution of the Soviet Union and composed of six former members, has agreed to deploy “peacekeepers” to aid a member country. Though the bloc has long been seen as Russia’s answer to NATO, its first joint action is putting down a domestic protest rather than combating an attack from an external force.

The stakes are especially high for Russia, effectively the leader of the alliance, as its presence risks alienating a public that is demanding a change in Kazakhstan’s regime but has yet to show any anti-Russian sentiment.

Russian boots on the ground in a former Soviet republic, with dozens killed.


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Re: Foreign Affairs / World News
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2022, 02:15:39 PM »

Online Roy H.

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The US has information that indicates Russia has prepositioned a group of operatives to conduct a false-flag operation in eastern Ukraine, a US official told CNN on Friday, in an attempt to create a pretext for an invasion.

The official said the US has evidence that the operatives are trained in urban warfare and in using explosives to carry out acts of sabotage against Russia's own proxy forces.

Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said the Defense Department has credible information indicating Russia has "prepositioned a group of operatives" to execute "an operation designed to look like an attack on them or Russian-speaking people in Ukraine" in order to create a reason for a potential invasion.

https://www.cnn.com/2022/01/14/politics/us-intelligence-russia-false-flag/index.html

Meanwhile:

Quote
Senate Democrats on Thursday blocked legislation from Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) to slap sanctions on businesses tied to the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, a win for the Biden administration, which believes such sanctions could damage relations with Germany.

Senators voted 55-44 on Cruz’s legislation, falling short of the 60 votes needed for it to pass. Democratic Sens. Tammy Baldwin (Wis.), Catherine Cortez Masto (Nev.), Maggie Hassan (N.H.), Mark Kelly (Ariz.), Jacky Rosen (Nev.) and Raphael Warnock (Ga.) joined every Republican save Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) in voting for the bill.

The vote on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which will carry gas from Russia to Germany, comes at a delicate moment for White House as it navigates renewed tensions with Moscow over its buildup of troops on the border with Ukraine. 

Underscoring the dilemma for Democrats, many of whom previously voted for similar sanctions, senators stressed that they are alarmed about Russia and the pipeline, but that Cruz’s legislation isn’t the most effective response. 

Ignoring the hypocrisy about the filibuster for a minute...  Is anybody concerned that Russia is bullying us (and everybody other than China) constantly?  Where's the outrage that we saw under the previous administration?  As much as Trump is criticized for being soft on Russia, both Obama and Biden seem incredibly weak there, as well.


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Re: Foreign Affairs / World News
« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2022, 02:24:53 PM »

Offline Quetzalcoatl

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Who cares is my honest take.  Russia is being built up as a boogie man.  Putin just misplayed his hand in Ukraine and he doesn't actually want a fight, he wanted some concessions about Ukraine being barred from NATO.  He misplayed his hand and is now looking weak.  He'll probably get some light concession and then trumpet it as a win but he's not a major player in practice at the level of the US, Germany, China, India, Japan.  Their economy is even smaller than Canada's.  They are not a world power.

I think it serves a lot of military companies narrative interests to have them as a bad guy.  We are spending $778 billion on the military now and the big question is why?  Both parties are ok with this.  If you compare what we are doing to what they are doing it's wild.  We literally just split off Taiwan and Ukraine and are propping them up against China and Russia and they response we've gotten back is idle posturing.  Imagine if China brought their military into say Hawaii or Puerto Rico and told everyone to recognize them as a new country.  That is LITERALLY what we are doing to them.  Do you think it makes sense to go to war over either of these countries anyway?  This stuff is all a distraction.  They aren't even remotely on our level.  However the media wants us all to worry and provoke them for some curious reason.  You are an old cynic come on lol

Re: Foreign Affairs / World News
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2022, 02:27:29 PM »

Online Celtics2021

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Quote
The US has information that indicates Russia has prepositioned a group of operatives to conduct a false-flag operation in eastern Ukraine, a US official told CNN on Friday, in an attempt to create a pretext for an invasion.

The official said the US has evidence that the operatives are trained in urban warfare and in using explosives to carry out acts of sabotage against Russia's own proxy forces.

Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said the Defense Department has credible information indicating Russia has "prepositioned a group of operatives" to execute "an operation designed to look like an attack on them or Russian-speaking people in Ukraine" in order to create a reason for a potential invasion.

https://www.cnn.com/2022/01/14/politics/us-intelligence-russia-false-flag/index.html

Meanwhile:

Quote
Senate Democrats on Thursday blocked legislation from Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) to slap sanctions on businesses tied to the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, a win for the Biden administration, which believes such sanctions could damage relations with Germany.

Senators voted 55-44 on Cruz’s legislation, falling short of the 60 votes needed for it to pass. Democratic Sens. Tammy Baldwin (Wis.), Catherine Cortez Masto (Nev.), Maggie Hassan (N.H.), Mark Kelly (Ariz.), Jacky Rosen (Nev.) and Raphael Warnock (Ga.) joined every Republican save Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) in voting for the bill.

The vote on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which will carry gas from Russia to Germany, comes at a delicate moment for White House as it navigates renewed tensions with Moscow over its buildup of troops on the border with Ukraine. 

Underscoring the dilemma for Democrats, many of whom previously voted for similar sanctions, senators stressed that they are alarmed about Russia and the pipeline, but that Cruz’s legislation isn’t the most effective response. 

Ignoring the hypocrisy about the filibuster for a minute...  Is anybody concerned that Russia is bullying us (and everybody other than China) constantly?  Where's the outrage that we saw under the previous administration?  As much as Trump is criticized for being soft on Russia, both Obama and Biden seem incredibly weak there, as well.

With this specific pipeline, the Biden administration is against these sanctions on behalf of our ally Germany, which is in the midst of a significant energy crisis that could include rationing.  That would create a lot of unrest within the country, to say the least, so for the short-term this pipeline is the lesser of two evils.  I think Germany made a lot of poor decisions to put themselves in this situation, but when an ally asks you to not tank their energy supply and potentially their economy, you generally acquiesce.


Re: Foreign Affairs / World News
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2022, 02:59:46 PM »

Online Roy H.

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Who cares is my honest take.  Russia is being built up as a boogie man.  Putin just misplayed his hand in Ukraine and he doesn't actually want a fight, he wanted some concessions about Ukraine being barred from NATO.  He misplayed his hand and is now looking weak.  He'll probably get some light concession and then trumpet it as a win but he's not a major player in practice at the level of the US, Germany, China, India, Japan.  Their economy is even smaller than Canada's.  They are not a world power.

I think it serves a lot of military companies narrative interests to have them as a bad guy.  We are spending $778 billion on the military now and the big question is why?  Both parties are ok with this.  If you compare what we are doing to what they are doing it's wild.  We literally just split off Taiwan and Ukraine and are propping them up against China and Russia and they response we've gotten back is idle posturing.  Imagine if China brought their military into say Hawaii or Puerto Rico and told everyone to recognize them as a new country.  That is LITERALLY what we are doing to them.  Do you think it makes sense to go to war over either of these countries anyway?  This stuff is all a distraction.  They aren't even remotely on our level.  However the media wants us all to worry and provoke them for some curious reason.  You are an old cynic come on lol

I think that they're relevant because they have a large, sophisticated military and they're run by a dictator.

But, I'm fascinated by the information regarding the size of their economy.  I didn't realize that their economy was so anemic in relative terms.


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Re: Foreign Affairs / World News
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2022, 03:04:14 PM »

Offline seancally

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Quote
The US has information that indicates Russia has prepositioned a group of operatives to conduct a false-flag operation in eastern Ukraine, a US official told CNN on Friday, in an attempt to create a pretext for an invasion.

The official said the US has evidence that the operatives are trained in urban warfare and in using explosives to carry out acts of sabotage against Russia's own proxy forces.

Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said the Defense Department has credible information indicating Russia has "prepositioned a group of operatives" to execute "an operation designed to look like an attack on them or Russian-speaking people in Ukraine" in order to create a reason for a potential invasion.

https://www.cnn.com/2022/01/14/politics/us-intelligence-russia-false-flag/index.html

Meanwhile:

Quote
Senate Democrats on Thursday blocked legislation from Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) to slap sanctions on businesses tied to the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, a win for the Biden administration, which believes such sanctions could damage relations with Germany.

Senators voted 55-44 on Cruz’s legislation, falling short of the 60 votes needed for it to pass. Democratic Sens. Tammy Baldwin (Wis.), Catherine Cortez Masto (Nev.), Maggie Hassan (N.H.), Mark Kelly (Ariz.), Jacky Rosen (Nev.) and Raphael Warnock (Ga.) joined every Republican save Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) in voting for the bill.

The vote on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which will carry gas from Russia to Germany, comes at a delicate moment for White House as it navigates renewed tensions with Moscow over its buildup of troops on the border with Ukraine. 

Underscoring the dilemma for Democrats, many of whom previously voted for similar sanctions, senators stressed that they are alarmed about Russia and the pipeline, but that Cruz’s legislation isn’t the most effective response. 

Ignoring the hypocrisy about the filibuster for a minute...  Is anybody concerned that Russia is bullying us (and everybody other than China) constantly?  Where's the outrage that we saw under the previous administration?  As much as Trump is criticized for being soft on Russia, both Obama and Biden seem incredibly weak there, as well.

With this specific pipeline, the Biden administration is against these sanctions on behalf of our ally Germany, which is in the midst of a significant energy crisis that could include rationing.  That would create a lot of unrest within the country, to say the least, so for the short-term this pipeline is the lesser of two evils.  I think Germany made a lot of poor decisions to put themselves in this situation, but when an ally asks you to not tank their energy supply and potentially their economy, you generally acquiesce.

Plus, the sanctions on the table for Russia over an invasion would be steep. Could include the banning of American-patented technology, which would strangle the supply chain of computer chips, for example. Could mean even consumer tech products like iPhones become scarce. Not to mention the possibility of locking Russia out from the global banking system. It would hurt. But broad sanctions will also require European support, and right now Russia controls the faucet for a lot of gas into the continent. Sanctioning the Nord pipeline now would make it harder to build that important consensus with the Europeans.
"The game honors toughness." - President Stevens

Re: Foreign Affairs / World News
« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2022, 03:15:21 PM »

Offline seancally

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Who cares is my honest take.  Russia is being built up as a boogie man.  Putin just misplayed his hand in Ukraine and he doesn't actually want a fight, he wanted some concessions about Ukraine being barred from NATO.  He misplayed his hand and is now looking weak.  He'll probably get some light concession and then trumpet it as a win but he's not a major player in practice at the level of the US, Germany, China, India, Japan.  Their economy is even smaller than Canada's.  They are not a world power.

I think it serves a lot of military companies narrative interests to have them as a bad guy.  We are spending $778 billion on the military now and the big question is why?  Both parties are ok with this.  If you compare what we are doing to what they are doing it's wild.  We literally just split off Taiwan and Ukraine and are propping them up against China and Russia and they response we've gotten back is idle posturing.  Imagine if China brought their military into say Hawaii or Puerto Rico and told everyone to recognize them as a new country.  That is LITERALLY what we are doing to them.  Do you think it makes sense to go to war over either of these countries anyway?  This stuff is all a distraction.  They aren't even remotely on our level.  However the media wants us all to worry and provoke them for some curious reason.  You are an old cynic come on lol

I think that they're relevant because they have a large, sophisticated military and they're run by a dictator.

But, I'm fascinated by the information regarding the size of their economy.  I didn't realize that their economy was so anemic in relative terms.

Russia is a nuclear power, so they have to be taken seriously. They’ve also proven extremely adept at the propaganda, cyber and elections-tampering game. They have assassinated political opponents living in other counties, including the U.K. They have seized land and funded military adventurism. Yes the US has done these things too. But I’m in the side of the US and democracy, and if Putin is allowed to continue wielding this influence unchecked, the balance of power will (continue to) tip in favor of autocracies worldwide.

This is the ideological battle of the 21st century: democracy vs autocracy. As the most powerful democracy in Earth, the U.S. has an obligation to support others where it can (I’m not advocating for regime change, just support for democracies under threat). You may disagree, and say we don’t have that obligation — but that’s the question policymakers should be wrangling with.
"The game honors toughness." - President Stevens

Re: Foreign Affairs / World News
« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2022, 04:22:16 PM »

Offline Vermont Green

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What is the geopolitical issue with Germany buying natural gas from Russia?  As compared to the geopolitical issue of Russia trying to move troops in to Ukraine?  And I thought Trump vetoed the bill that included these sanctions (approved by Dems and Republicans).

I honestly don't understand what the issue is with the pipeline.  Is is environmental?  Do we just not want Russia to have a means to make money?

Re: Foreign Affairs / World News
« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2022, 04:36:19 PM »

Offline sahara

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What is the geopolitical issue with Germany buying natural gas from Russia?  As compared to the geopolitical issue of Russia trying to move troops in to Ukraine?  And I thought Trump vetoed the bill that included these sanctions (approved by Dems and Republicans).

I honestly don't understand what the issue is with the pipeline.  Is is environmental?  Do we just not want Russia to have a means to make money?

Germany and France run the EU. Germany decided that nuclear energy is bad. Germany can´t function without gas. Germany is depentant from russian gas.

Re: Foreign Affairs / World News
« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2022, 05:01:52 PM »

Offline Vermont Green

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What is the geopolitical issue with Germany buying natural gas from Russia?  As compared to the geopolitical issue of Russia trying to move troops in to Ukraine?  And I thought Trump vetoed the bill that included these sanctions (approved by Dems and Republicans).

I honestly don't understand what the issue is with the pipeline.  Is is environmental?  Do we just not want Russia to have a means to make money?

Germany and France run the EU. Germany decided that nuclear energy is bad. Germany can´t function without gas. Germany is depentant from russian gas.

I get that part but why is the US against the pipeline (or why should the US be against it)?

Re: Foreign Affairs / World News
« Reply #10 on: January 14, 2022, 05:39:47 PM »

Online Roy H.

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What is the geopolitical issue with Germany buying natural gas from Russia?  As compared to the geopolitical issue of Russia trying to move troops in to Ukraine?  And I thought Trump vetoed the bill that included these sanctions (approved by Dems and Republicans).

I honestly don't understand what the issue is with the pipeline.  Is is environmental?  Do we just not want Russia to have a means to make money?

Germany and France run the EU. Germany decided that nuclear energy is bad. Germany can´t function without gas. Germany is depentant from russian gas.

I get that part but why is the US against the pipeline (or why should the US be against it)?

For consistency, for one thing.  Americans and Canadiens can’t benefit from pipelines, but Russia can?

Second, the pipeline has giant implications for Ukraine and Europe as a whole.

https://www.vox.com/22881709/nord-stream-2-russia-ukraine-germany-united-states-cruz



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Re: Foreign Affairs / World News
« Reply #11 on: January 14, 2022, 07:07:38 PM »

Offline Cman

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Apparently Putin's plan with Ukraine is to conduct a "false flag" operation to justify invasion.

https://www.cnn.com/2022/01/14/politics/us-intelligence-russia-false-flag/index.html
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Re: Foreign Affairs / World News
« Reply #12 on: January 14, 2022, 07:43:55 PM »

Online Rosco917

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After Russia takes back Ukraine, and it looks like it's going to happen. Next China will invade Taiwan, because they see Putin ignoring Brandon...can we have a go at Cuba?

Re: Foreign Affairs / World News
« Reply #13 on: January 20, 2022, 09:03:47 AM »

Offline Cman

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Interesting map of the troop positions in Western Russia

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2022/01/07/world/europe/ukraine-maps.html
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Re: Foreign Affairs / World News
« Reply #14 on: January 20, 2022, 09:11:38 AM »

Online Roy H.

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Quote from: WSJ
Mr. Biden didn’t help deterrence at his press conference Wednesday by suggesting that a “minor incursion” by Russia might not trigger a united response from the West. “It’s one thing if it’s a minor incursion and then we end up having to fight about what to do and not do,” Mr. Biden said. Pressed on the point, he didn’t provide any clarity on what would be “minor,” and Mr. Putin may think he now has leave to take at least some territory.

This response fits the pattern that goes back to the weak Western responses to Russia’s previous aggression. In 2009, after Russia’s invasion of Georgia the previous year, Barack Obama called for a “reset” with the Kremlin and achieved little. In 2014 Mr. Obama and Europe imposed sanctions on Russia, but they were too weak to make much difference.

The Biden Administration is now promising “massive consequences” if Russia invades again, but why should Mr. Putin believe it? The U.S. has ruled out any direct U.S. military defense of Ukraine, so Mr. Putin knows he needn’t worry about that. But the U.S. has also failed to raise the costs of a Russian invasion by adequately arming Kyiv.


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