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Subject: Lithuanian/Polish/Ukrainian Increased Cooperation
singularity    11/19/2009 12:37:06 PM
Lithuania, Poland and Ukraine are forming are forming a three way international peacekeeping brigade called LITPOLUKRBRIG. According to the Telegraph (UK newspaper), the strength may range from 2,000-5,000 soldiers. (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/expat/6589547/Lithuania-Poland-and-Ukraine-create-a-joint-military-brigade.html). According to RIA Novosti (Russian newspaper), this is the second combined battalion between Poland and Ukraine and the paper claims other countries can apparently join the agreement. It appears that Poland and Lithuania are attempting to integrate Ukraine further into NATO and Europe, despite (and perhaps because of) the hesitation by France,Germany and some others. I think further integration/alliances between Ukraine, Poland and the other Central and Eastern European countries offers increased protection against Russian influence or even attack. This got me thinking about this scenario: What would occur if Russia and Ukraine have another spat over gas deliveries and Ukraine attempts to kick out the Russian fleet from Crimea? If this escalated to an armed conflict (non-nuclear), and Poland, Lithuania (and perhaps Czech Republic, Slovakia, Estonia and Latvia) came to the aid of Ukraine against Russia (which would probably have the support of Belarus), what would their odds be? I am assuming the other NATO members such as US, France, Germany do not interfere because they are either tied down or do not want to protect countries freedoms because of the chance of losing Russian "business". How long could these countries last? Could they take Kalingrad and deny the Russians a foothold? How long would it take for these countries to develop nukes (Ukraine had some stationed on its land before it disarmed).
 
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Heorot       11/23/2009 7:00:00 PM
Nocturne,
 
thank you for bringing some sanity back to this discussion. It should be obvious to anyone that looks at a map that your country is defenceless against any serious military invasion by Russia. 
 
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Godofgamblers       11/23/2009 9:15:15 PM

Union of Lublin did favour Poland.  i think everyone in Lithuania agrees on this. In the past it was tought in a very negative way like a prelude to downfall. This negative feeling was strongly influenced by polish trying to reastablish some kind of union by force in 1919-1920( mostly because of attack and capture of lithuanian capital Vilnius). After that there was no love left despite centuries of common and even u might say friendly history. Now union is portrayed not in such bad light some good, some negatvie points.
Good: we needed the union because it would have been very hard maybe too hard to defend the country and go forward alone. 

Bad: union turned to favour poland and we somehow become younger brother ( this was kidna confirmed by the fact that after wwI poland tryed to force Lithuania back into the union) and probably the stongest 'bad factor' from two strong kingdoms ( technically Lithuania was called Grand Duchy but whatever..) we created a giant unable to control itself, rule itself, reform which led to  the downfall of  both nations.




In my opinon Union in itself wasnt a bad thing just it turned wrong way somewhere. Maybe Poland came out of it quite good but Lithuania didn't.
Agree on all counts. Thanks for your comments.

 
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Nocturne    @Heorot   11/24/2009 5:37:15 AM
Thats the point.

Many wertern analysts and hystorians fail to understand russian army thinking about casualties. Of course russian would suffer more casualties in any confrontation with western army. They would grieve their soldiers but they would accept it as thing that had to be done and get over it. They are prepared to pay .. and you are not.  Thats why they can push you  and expect not to be punched in the face. It works, mostly.

Our military is day-dreaming they are too much into empty promises, they think they will fight as a regular brigade (we cant arm more than that in proper way) within the larger army. they think they will be able to call airstrikes and so on for support.. they are training how  to keep up with mechanised force.
..And really they should pay some respect to islamic insurgents and learning how to make shaped charge with the kitchen tools and imagination ( of course that increases risk that some  psychopat will use it in some college..but i think risk is acceptable)
We cant stop russians but can try to make it  too costly. ( i say 'try' because i know that in many cases they would be willing to pay)

 
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Hugo    God of Gamblers   11/25/2009 10:00:40 AM



Yes, it is too late for any unity, i agree. Let me draw upon your knowledge Hugo and ask you, why is it that the German nations in Europe all speak the same language ---despite Obama's efforts to the contrary hehe--- while the Slavs have dispersed and all speak different languages, with different scripts too. We know that at one time the Slavs spoke one language. I have very little knowledge of early history: are the Slavs an older people and thus their languages evolved more? Or is it geographical, the Germans being for the most part hemmed in  in Central Europe (with the exception of the Prussians of course) while the Slavs fanned out to the south and east, the cultural isolation leading to dialects forming and finally distinct languages?

thx


  Hi GoG.  I think it's a misnomer to refer to German nations.  If there is a parrallel to Slavic nations then it is Germanic nations.  My understanding is that there is a stronger ethnic link between say, Germans and Swedes than there is between Russians and Czechs.  The Dutch for example are largely Franks and Frisians, these are both Germanic tribes comprising part of today's population of Germany.  Again, the Belgians are largely of Frankish heritage.  The Dutch are ethnically closer to North Germans than North Germans are to Austrians for example.  The Germanic peoples stem from Northern Europe (Jutland and Scandinavia) and they moved South and Westward coming ínto contact and also conflict with the Celts.  So when referring to Germanic nations, there are a variety of different branches of languages which is broadly broken down into the Western Germanic languages which include Upper (Germany and Austria) and Lower German, Dutch / Flemish, Afrikaans, Frisian, English and other less well known branches. The Northern Germanic languages comprise Icelandic, Norwegian, Danish, Swedish etc.
 
So as you can see, actually, there are perhaps more varieties of the Germanic languages than those spoken by the Slavic peoples and the differences are more marked.  It is my understanding that the Poles can understand the Czechs and Slovaks better than say a Dutch person and a Dane for example.  The Germanic peoples are older than the Slavic peoples and inhabit more geographically distinct areas stretching from Iceland to South Africa.  Because of the relative isolation different subsets of the Germanic languages have developed and survived.  Hundreds of years ago, it wasn't unusual for a Swiss villager never to have met a person from a neighbouring village because that would have required ascending navigating a dangerous mountain pass.

So you see the Germanic peoples are also far from unified which I believe is a strength - I enjoy it when the Swiss or Austrians give the Berliners the finger - not something you'd see the Walloons doing to the Parisiens.  The German Nation, since 1871, has been too politically dominant amongst the Germanic peoples to encourage unity.  Prior to that there were numerous powerful Germanic peoples at different times, such as the Danes, Swedes, Austrians, Dutch, who were all dominant within their region.  Before them were the Franks (Charlemagne), the Norse, Lombards, Goths, Ostrogoths, Visigoths, Saxons and countless others.  Even in Roman times, the Germanic tribes were far from unified and yet the Romans were still unable to subjugate them. 
 
I believe the Slavs arrived in Europe at significantly different times from outside Europe unlike the Germans who spread out from their historical homeland in the North and Slavic divisions also look geographic.  The Russians are the most united but then they inhabit a large flat plain that doesn't encourage disunity.  I feel the Slavs can broadly be seen as three groups, the Westerners who are largely Catholic, the Southern Slavs, largely Orthodox with Turkish cultural influences and then the Russians who I believe have been heavily influenced by their historical Mongol overlords and other Eastern invaders. 
 
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Jeff_F_F    Bullies   11/25/2009 9:31:24 PM
I grew up small and scrawny, so I learned a thing or two about bullies. This is my perspective, at least
 
1.   Bullies don't really care whether you lose or not - it is all about them
2.   Bullies are generally losers - so they want to win.
3.   Even if you lose, even if you get beat up, if they have to walk around the next few days with a black eye, they look like a chump, so they lose too.
4.   The smaller their victim, the more of a chump they'll look like if they get a black eye out of it.
5.   If they know there's a good chance they will end up look like a chump if they attack you, they'll leave you alone.
 
It isn't 1939. For better or worse, the world has a lot less tollerance for messy wars than it once did. Russia can't afford to fight another Afghanistan any more than American can afford to fight another Vietnam. And especially not on Europe's back porch. I doubt any future central European war would be about aquiring territory. Too much risk of another Afghanistan, never mind the political minefield that a long-term occupation of another nation would be. Rather it would be waged for more of a "policy by other means" reason, like shoring up the Russian leaderships' domestic political power base, to make a point about the political weakness of the victim-nation's allies, or to force some diplomatic action favorable to Russia's intrests. As such whatever the political payoff, it is going to have to be balanced against the political cost to the Russian leadership if the war turns messy.
 
The central European powers don't have to be able to beat Russia--that is, they don't have to be able to not lose. They just have to show Russia that there is a good chance that if Russia does fight them they will lose too. They have to offer a credible threat of making the political cost of such a war higher than whatever the hoped for payoff would have been for vicotry. If they can do that they will have established a credible deterrance.
 
As such, I believe a central European military alliance would be a very good option for the nations in this region. It is far less politically inflamatory than NATO membership. And far less dependent on the obviously fickle political will of America and the western European nations. If they can avoid letting Russia isolate individual members of that alliance whether diplomatically or through a trick like that used against Gorgia, it dramatically increases the likely political cost of any war that Russia might consider. The difficulty is that it requires these nations to be willing to commit to fighting in each other's defense even though they can't actually win that war in the traditional sense, which requires a great deal of political will and a very nuanced understanding of the military objectives involved. I don't know if that is possible, but I hope it is.
 
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Godofgamblers       11/25/2009 9:41:00 PM

I grew up small and scrawny, so I learned a thing or two about bullies. This is my perspective, at least

 

1.   Bullies don't really care whether you lose or not - it is all about them

2.   Bullies are generally losers - so they want to win.

3.   Even if you lose, even if you get beat up, if they have to walk around the next few days with a black eye, they look like a chump, so they lose too.

4.   The smaller their victim, the more of a chump they'll look like if they get a black eye out of it.

5.   If they know there's a good chance they will end up look like a chump if they attack you, they'll leave you alone.

 

It isn't 1939. For better or worse, the world has a lot less tollerance for messy wars than it once did. Russia can't afford to fight another Afghanistan any more than American can afford to fight another Vietnam. And especially not on Europe's back porch. I doubt any future central European war would be about aquiring territory. Too much risk of another Afghanistan, never mind the political minefield that a long-term occupation of another nation would be. Rather it would be waged for more of a "policy by other means" reason, like shoring up the Russian leaderships' domestic political power base, to make a point about the political weakness of the victim-nation's allies, or to force some diplomatic action favorable to Russia's intrests. As such whatever the political payoff, it is going to have to be balanced against the political cost to the Russian leadership if the war turns messy.

 

The central European powers don't have to be able to beat Russia--that is, they don't have to be able to not lose. They just have to show Russia that there is a good chance that if Russia does fight them they will lose too. They have to offer a credible threat of making the political cost of such a war higher than whatever the hoped for payoff would have been for vicotry. If they can do that they will have established a credible deterrance.

 

As such, I believe a central European military alliance would be a very good option for the nations in this region. It is far less politically inflamatory than NATO membership. And far less dependent on the obviously fickle political will of America and the western European nations. If they can avoid letting Russia isolate individual members of that alliance whether diplomatically or through a trick like that used against Gorgia, it dramatically increases the likely political cost of any war that Russia might consider. The difficulty is that it requires these nations to be willing to commit to fighting in each other's defense even though they can't actually win that war in the traditional sense, which requires a great deal of political will and a very nuanced understanding of the military objectives involved. I don't know if that is possible, but I hope it is.


Your ideas are sound, jeff; the only problem is that the situation is very very delicate. As some have commented, if Russia really wished to take any of these countries, no one could or would stop them. Look what happened in Georgia. A defence pact may seem like a good deterrent, but Russia is just as likely to enact its own countermeasure, which may leave the smaller nations in a worse position than before! The Russians have many many cards up their sleeves.... they have ruled in this part of the world for a long time and know all the tricks. Remember too that many of these nations we've been discussing have sizeable Russian minorities; all Russia would have to do is to issue Russian passports to these people, and the instability it would cause would be considerable, even outweighing the benefits of a defence pact. Let me remind you too that Poland and Czechoslovakia had pacts with the west in 1939 as well....

 
You are right, there are actions that can be taken, but it is a very delicate balancing act.
 
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Godofgamblers       11/25/2009 9:43:22 PM







Yes, it is too late for any unity, i agree. Let me draw upon your knowledge Hugo and ask you, why is it that the German nations in Europe all speak the same language ---despite Obama's efforts to the contrary hehe--- while the Slavs have dispersed and all speak different languages, with different scripts too. We know that at one time the Slavs spoke one language. I have very little knowledge of early history: are the Slavs an older people and thus their languages evolved more? Or is it geographical, the Germans being for the most part hemmed in  in Central Europe (with the exception of the Prussians of course) while the Slavs fanned out to the south and east, the cultural isolation leading to dialects forming and finally distinct languages?



thx







  Hi GoG.  I think it's a misnomer to refer to German nations.  If there is a parrallel to Slavic nations then it is Germanic nations.  My understanding is that there is a stronger ethnic link between say, Germans and Swedes than there is between Russians and Czechs.  The Dutch for example are largely Franks and Frisians, these are both Germanic tribes comprising part of today's population of Germany.  Again, the Belgians are largely of Frankish heritage.  The Dutch are ethnically closer to North Germans than North Germans are to Austrians for example.  The Germanic peoples stem from Northern Europe (Jutland and Scandinavia) and they moved South and Westward coming ínto contact and also conflict with the Celts.  So when referring to Germanic nations, there are a variety of different branches of languages which is broadly broken down into the Western Germanic languages which include Upper (Germany and Austria) and Lower German, Dutch / Flemish, Afrikaans, Frisian, English and other less well known branches. The Northern Germanic languages comprise Icelandic, Norwegian, Danish, Swedish etc.

 

So as you can see, actually, there are perhaps more varieties of the Germanic languages than those spoken by the Slavic peoples and the differences are more marked.  It is my understanding that the Poles can understand the Czechs and Slovaks better than say a Dutch person and a Dane for example.  The Germanic peoples are older than the Slavic peoples and inhabit more geographically distinct areas stretching from Iceland to South Africa.  Because of the relative isolation different subsets of the Germanic languages have developed and survived.  Hundreds of years ago, it wasn't unusual for a Swiss villager never to have met a person from a neighbouring village because that would have required ascending navigating a dangerous mountain pass.



So you see the Germanic peoples are also far from unified which I believe is a strength - I enjoy it when the Swiss or Austrians give the Berliners the finger - not something you'd see the Walloons doing to the Parisiens.  The German Nation, since 1871, has been too politically dominant amongst the Germanic peoples to encourage unity.  Prior to that there were numerous powerful Germanic peoples at different times, such as the Danes, Swedes, Austrians, Dutch, who were all dominant within their region.  Before them were the Franks (Charlemagne), the Norse, Lombards, Goths, Ostrogoths, Visigoths, Saxons and countless others.  Even in Roman times, the Germanic tribes were far from unified and yet the Romans were still unable to subjugate them. 

 

I believe the Slavs arrived in Europe at significantly different times from outside Europe unlike the Germans who spread out from their historical homeland in the North and Slavic divisions also look geographic.  The Russians are the most united but then they inhabit a large flat plain that doesn't encourage disunity.  I feel the Slavs can broadly be seen as three groups, the Westerners who are largely Catholic, the Southern Slavs, largely Orthodox with Turkish cultural influences and then the Russians who I believe have been heavily influenced by their historical Mongol overlords and other Eastern invaders. 

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Jeff_F_F    Occupation insurance   11/25/2009 9:51:55 PM
I liked the hedgehog strategy outline previously. I've often wondered how it might work if a nation designed their defense around the idea of planning ahead of time for a guerilla war against an invader rather than hoping to stop a more powerful enemy. One idea I had would be making the copper plates needed for SEFOP IEDs commonly available.
 
Another thought I've had was inspired by the generally ineffective use of Katyusha rockets by the insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan. What if an artillery rocket was packaged in a single-shot, disposable launcher with some wheels at one end to facilitate being dragged by one or more soldiers. It would need a simple folding bipod and basic elevation controls to aim it in the general direction of the target and fire it on an elevation compatible with efficiently reaching the general vicinity of the target. Ballistic accuracy wouldn't be needed for this weapon because it would be GPS guided. It would have a control panel to enter the coordinates of the target and would launch on either a time delay, or in a time on target mode that would automatically calculate an approximate time of flight to the coordinates entered and launch the rocket at the correct time to get there for the TOT. Then the nation desiring occupation insurance makes or buys these and places caches of them in secure locations around the country. If invaded, the military disperses and takes them into hiding. I wouldn't want to be an enemy occupying any fixed location in that country.
 
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Jeff_F_F    Defense pacts   11/25/2009 10:04:18 PM
The problem that a defense pact with western European nations or with America has is obvious. We may decide we don't want to die for your nation when we don't have any immediate intrest in defending it, and probably have significant intrests in trade with Russia, long term diplomatic stability in our relations with Russia, etc.
 
The Russians are definitely skillful and ruthless. Any doubt of either should be resolved by their handling of the conflict with Georgia. At least with a regional alliance, everyone involved has a common need to not be bullied by Russia. Whether they have the political will to abide by that alliance when the going gets tough is a question I'm in no position to answer. Neither can I answer if their various leaders are smart enough to avoid falling into a trap such as that the Russians laid for the Georgians. At the same time nothing is potentially so unifying as a common enemy. Would western Europe be at peace today had it not been for the unifying threat of the Soviet Union?
 
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Godofgamblers       11/25/2009 10:15:30 PM

I liked the hedgehog strategy outline previously. I've often wondered how it might work if a nation designed their defense around the idea of planning ahead of time for a guerilla war against an invader rather than hoping to stop a more powerful enemy. One idea I had would be making the copper plates needed for SEFOP IEDs commonly available.

 

Another thought I've had was inspired by the generally ineffective use of Katyusha rockets by the insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan. What if an artillery rocket was packaged in a single-shot, disposable launcher with some wheels at one end to facilitate being dragged by one or more soldiers. It would need a simple folding bipod and basic elevation controls to aim it in the general direction of the target and fire it on an elevation compatible with efficiently reaching the general vicinity of the target. Ballistic accuracy wouldn't be needed for this weapon because it would be GPS guided. It would have a control panel to enter the coordinates of the target and would launch on either a time delay, or in a time on target mode that would automatically calculate an approximate time of flight to the coordinates entered and launch the rocket at the correct time to get there for the TOT. Then the nation desiring occupation insurance makes or buys these and places caches of them in secure locations around the country. If invaded, the military disperses and takes them into hiding. I wouldn't want to be an enemy occupying any fixed location in that country.

 

Yes, I agree with your thinking. Best to fight a 'winter war' sort of battle against the enemy (i.e. Using your terrain to the max, hence my hedgehog waterway strategy for the Poles) and when that fails due to the enemy's superior numbers, activate the Werewolf fighters (though hopefully they would be more effective than the Nazi ones).

 

Maybe as the invaders are set to attack, announce that the whole country shall convert to Islam too hehe.

 
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