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Offline Pete Svarrior

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The alternative seems to be appeasing Russia while it's led by an insane man - I would not expect for him to act rationally either. You could argue that non-involvement is an option, but that's largely the same as letting Russia grow bolder.
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Offline Rushy

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The alternative seems to be appeasing Russia while it's led by an insane man - I would not expect for him to act rationally either. You could argue that non-involvement is an option, but that's largely the same as letting Russia grow bolder.

We have plenty of other weapons to lob into Ukraine that don't involve long range strike capability that Ukraine frankly doesn't need nor do they have the intelligence capacity to use on their own. What we're doing is giving a country weapons and intelligence to the point that we're already far too involved. There's a difference between increasing resistance to the Russian invasion versus fighting an ever more direct war with Russia itself.

We're walking a fine line where one side is a literal apocalypse and the other is letting one corrupt shithole heavily damage another. It's not fair to the Ukrainian people, but it's also not fair to the rest of the planet to antagonize an increasingly unstable nuclear nation. Appeasement isn't a naughty word we should never engage in. This isn't WWII where it's just some Nazis, planes and tanks, it's a possible nuclear exchange scenario where we back Russia into a corner so far that their government destabilizes. Putin may not be the most stable man around, but all it takes is one enraged general who thinks Putin is a coward who won't "fight for the Russian people" or whatever to pop shit off in such a way that we can't put the genie back in the bottle.

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Offline crutonius

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I think its a mistake to assume that there's some kind of rulebook that Putin is referring to if he's deciding if he's okay with a particular weapon or not.  He's not a statesman.  He's a thug.  The only thing these people understand is power.  Frankly I think it's a mistake not to give Ukraine even more advanced weapons asap.

Also kicking an invading army out of the country is hardly backing them into a corner. 

Russia is nowhere near collapse.  A nation like Russia can take an enormous amount of punishment before it collapses.  In ww2 things were so bad they had to run public service announcements telling starving peasants not to cannibalize their children.  They still held up.

We've tried appeasing Putin many times.  Chechnya, Georgia, Ukraine, Ukraine again, Ukraine for a third time.  I suppose if we appease him this one last time he might stop.  It has to work eventually right?

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Offline Rushy

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I think its a mistake to assume that there's some kind of rulebook that Putin is referring to if he's deciding if he's okay with a particular weapon or not.  He's not a statesman.  He's a thug.  The only thing these people understand is power.  Frankly I think it's a mistake not to give Ukraine even more advanced weapons asap.

Huh? No one mentioned a rulebook. What thread are you reading?

Also kicking an invading army out of the country is hardly backing them into a corner. 

I'm referring to their economic sanctions, not anything to do with Ukraine itself.

Russia is nowhere near collapse.  A nation like Russia can take an enormous amount of punishment before it collapses.  In ww2 things were so bad they had to run public service announcements telling starving peasants not to cannibalize their children.  They still held up.

Defaulting on their international debt proves otherwise. The last time the Russians had economic problems, the USSR dissolved and we ended up with some very nasty nuclear weapons talks to avoid unstable governments having access to nuclear weapons and ensure the continuation of the central Russian government. I'd rather avoid that again (and you should too!).

We've tried appeasing Putin many times.  Chechnya, Georgia, Ukraine, Ukraine again, Ukraine for a third time.  I suppose if we appease him this one last time he might stop.  It has to work eventually right?

In each of those times we successfully avoided nuclear war. Avoiding nuclear war has been the entire goal of all geopolitics since the US dropped two bombs on Japan.
« Last Edit: June 02, 2022, 02:25:42 PM by Rushy »

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Offline crutonius

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I was referring to some theoretical line we could cross, arms-wise, where Russia would be justified to strike a NATO aligned country to stop the shipments.  He'll strike if he thinks he can get away with it, not because we sent Ukraine something too dangerous to Russia.

North Korea still exists with as much sanctions as Russia has.  They're too broke to invade anyone.  That's sort of the goal.

Ironically a lot of those nukes were in Ukraine.  They gave them up for Russia's guarantee to not invade them.  Again I seriously doubt that the sanctions we've put on them are likely to cause Russia to collapse.

Maybe I'm wrong but I just don't think that giving up chunks of territory to anyone threatening nuclear war is a great foreign policy.

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Offline Pete Svarrior

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In each of those times we successfully avoided nuclear war.
I dunno, Putin is still saying he'll totally start a nuclear war. Postponing it while giving him time to grow stronger (regardless of whether he squandered it) doesn't seem to have worked out so far.
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Offline Rushy

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In each of those times we successfully avoided nuclear war.
I dunno, Putin is still saying he'll totally start a nuclear war. Postponing it while giving him time to grow stronger (regardless of whether he squandered it) doesn't seem to have worked out so far.

There is no surviving a nuclear war, how strong (or weak) he grows is irrelevant when just 10% of Russia's nuclear arsenal could render the planet uninhabitable. Letting him take chunks out of his neighbors is a very easy price to pay for not dying in WWIII. He knows this, which is why it's his strategy to just do a bit at a time. If he were truly an unstable madman, he'd be invading all of his neighbors simultaneously while egging NATO. The fact that he has never done that is a great indicator that he hasn't completely lost his sanity just yet.

Maybe I'm wrong but I just don't think that giving up chunks of territory to anyone threatening nuclear war is a great foreign policy.

Why? At what point do you say "I'm willing to gamble the entire planet's habitability on this piece of land"? A lot of these arguments sound more like a desire to not "let Putin win" or some other egotistical gibberish versus the actual stakes at hand here. I would let Putin take all of non-nuclear Europe before I gamble a single American getting wiped by a Russian nuke. If Russia nukes us, we have to nuke them back, then the entire planet loses. Yes, the whole planet. A worldwide extinction event that humanity may not survive (and if it does, we lose several thousand years of civilizational progress over the course of a few days).

It doesn't make sense to risk nuclear war over some muddy terrain in Eastern Europe. Quite literally anything we do to Russia ratchets up the chance they end the world. It would be the irrational choice, yes, but massive wars have started over irrational choices that were easily avoided.




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Offline Lord Dave

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By that logic, wouldn't it also work if the US said "We'll nuke you unless you stop"?
If you are going to DebOOonK an expert then you have to at least provide a source with credentials of equal or greater relevance. Even then, it merely shows that some experts disagree with each other.

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Offline Fortuna

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Threatening nukes has kept them from completely getting their ass pushed in by the US. That’s their big play. Their economy and army are shit. Of course they’ll keep threatening. They want to get as much value out of their nukes as they can without actually firing them.

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Offline crutonius

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In each of those times we successfully avoided nuclear war.
I dunno, Putin is still saying he'll totally start a nuclear war. Postponing it while giving him time to grow stronger (regardless of whether he squandered it) doesn't seem to have worked out so far.

There is no surviving a nuclear war, how strong (or weak) he grows is irrelevant when just 10% of Russia's nuclear arsenal could render the planet uninhabitable. Letting him take chunks out of his neighbors is a very easy price to pay for not dying in WWIII. He knows this, which is why it's his strategy to just do a bit at a time. If he were truly an unstable madman, he'd be invading all of his neighbors simultaneously while egging NATO. The fact that he has never done that is a great indicator that he hasn't completely lost his sanity just yet.

Maybe I'm wrong but I just don't think that giving up chunks of territory to anyone threatening nuclear war is a great foreign policy.

Why? At what point do you say "I'm willing to gamble the entire planet's habitability on this piece of land"? A lot of these arguments sound more like a desire to not "let Putin win" or some other egotistical gibberish versus the actual stakes at hand here. I would let Putin take all of non-nuclear Europe before I gamble a single American getting wiped by a Russian nuke. If Russia nukes us, we have to nuke them back, then the entire planet loses. Yes, the whole planet. A worldwide extinction event that humanity may not survive (and if it does, we lose several thousand years of civilizational progress over the course of a few days).

It doesn't make sense to risk nuclear war over some muddy terrain in Eastern Europe. Quite literally anything we do to Russia ratchets up the chance they end the world. It would be the irrational choice, yes, but massive wars have started over irrational choices that were easily avoided.

So your plan would be let anyone with a nuke take over as much territory as they want and hope that territory doesn't include where you happen to live?

Also, non nuclear?  Wouldn't the same logic hold up if Putin attacks a nuclear power?  By this logic shouldn't the US surrender if Russia threatens to nuke us?

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Offline Pete Svarrior

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The fact that he has never done that is a great indicator that he hasn't completely lost his sanity just yet.
That's one possible explanation. I'm not convinced it's correct. Keep in mind that it wouldn't be Putin, personally, launching the nukes, and his generals have previously put the brakes on significantly smaller infractions than annihilating the world. Their loyalty is to their own comfort, not to Putin, and not to Russia.

Chances are that the moment he declares a nuclear strike, he gets shot in the head by a high-ranking official. He's done his fair share of shooting people in the head, so he likely realises that.
« Last Edit: June 02, 2022, 05:07:13 PM by Pete Svarrior »
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Offline Rushy

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By that logic, wouldn't it also work if the US said "We'll nuke you unless you stop"?

The US has a lot more to lose than Russia. It's like threatening the local homeless man you'll knock down his tent versus him threatening to topple your skyscrapers. The risk vs. reward is completely different. Russia is more willing to risk getting nuked to gain some territory than we are to protect it (which is why we aren't knocking down Putin's door with SEAL team six).

So your plan would be let anyone with a nuke take over as much territory as they want and hope that territory doesn't include where you happen to live?

Yes, because anything else involves inviting nuclear warfare. It's also why the US' supposed devotion to protecting Taiwan is meaningless and when China finally decides to take Taiwan by force, they'll eventually get it.


Also, non nuclear?  Wouldn't the same logic hold up if Putin attacks a nuclear power?  By this logic shouldn't the US surrender if Russia threatens to nuke us?

No, the same logic does not apply to a nuclear power. A nuclear power cannot invade another nuclear power. Again, this has been the basis for all geopolitics since the late 40's.

The fact that he has never done that is a great indicator that he hasn't completely lost his sanity just yet.
That's one possible explanation. I'm not convinced it's correct. Keep in mind that it wouldn't be Putin, personally, launching the nukes, and his generals have previously put the brakes on significantly smaller infractions than annihilating the world. Their loyalty is to their own comfort, not to Putin, and not to Russia.

Chances are that the moment he declares a nuclear strike, he gets shot in the head by a high-ranking official. He's done his fair share of shooting people in the head, so he likely realises that.

If we start reaching for assumptions that involve Putin behaving irrationally (though he has not seemed to have done so yet) then also reaching for the assumption that his colleagues are just as irrational as he is would be easy. We also don't know where the generals surrounding Putin have their loyalties. "To their own comfort" is merely an opinion and one that is not evident.

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Offline crutonius

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Also, non nuclear?  Wouldn't the same logic hold up if Putin attacks a nuclear power?  By this logic shouldn't the US surrender if Russia threatens to nuke us?

No, the same logic does not apply to a nuclear power. A nuclear power cannot invade another nuclear power. Again, this has been the basis for all geopolitics since the late 40's.


Aha.  So we give Ukraine, Taiwan and anyone we want to not get invaded their own set of nukes.

Problem solved.

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Offline Pete Svarrior

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If we start reaching for assumptions that involve Putin behaving irrationally (though he has not seemed to have done so yet)
Most of his recent actions are largely described as irrational by people who know better than you or me. It could be that they're wrong and you're right, but it won't be as easy as dismissing this analysis as "reaching for assumptions".

then also reaching for the assumption that his colleagues are just as irrational as he is would be easy.
It would, were it not for their track record.

We also don't know where the generals surrounding Putin have their loyalties. "To their own comfort" is merely an opinion and one that is not evident.
Your opinion is also far from evident. Are we just gonna sit here and say "well gmm that's just your opinion" to each other, or do you want to try and have a discussion?
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In each of those times we successfully avoided nuclear war.
I dunno, Putin is still saying he'll totally start a nuclear war. Postponing it while giving him time to grow stronger (regardless of whether he squandered it) doesn't seem to have worked out so far.
My nephew is convinced we are all about to die in a thermonuclear war (he’s an adult by the way, and he is prone to doom-mongering). I don’t think so because even if Putin is mad enough to push the button, which I doubt, in real life he doesn’t actually have a button. There are some checks and balances even in Russia and when push comes to shove I don’t think they’d actually launch. Prove me wrong, boys, prove me wrong!
Tom: "Claiming incredulity is a pretty bad argument. Calling it "insane" or "ridiculous" is not a good argument at all."

TFES Wiki Occam's Razor page, by Tom: "What's the simplest explanation; that NASA has successfully designed and invented never before seen rocket technologies from scratch which can accelerate 100 tons of matter to an escape velocity of 7 miles per second"

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Offline Fortuna

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In each of those times we successfully avoided nuclear war.
I dunno, Putin is still saying he'll totally start a nuclear war. Postponing it while giving him time to grow stronger (regardless of whether he squandered it) doesn't seem to have worked out so far.
My nephew is convinced we are all about to die in a thermonuclear war (he’s an adult by the way, and he is prone to doom-mongering). I don’t think so because even if Putin is mad enough to push the button, which I doubt, in real life he doesn’t actually have a button. There are some checks and balances even in Russia and when push comes to shove I don’t think they’d actually launch. Prove me wrong, boys, prove me wrong!

Russia’s rhetoric is pretty effective. They are playing up their crazy villain persona that we see them as.

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Offline Pete Svarrior

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There are some checks and balances even in Russia and when push comes to shove I don’t think they’d actually launch. Prove me wrong, boys, prove me wrong!
Egads, it sounds like we broadly agree. I'm not sure if I'd call it "checks and balances" (sounds way too codified), but I have some faith in the self-preservation instinct of the men in kushy dictatorship jobs.
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Offline stack

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We could just cede Ukraine. Russia basically already has Belarus. The question becomes, what do we do if Russia gets super pissed with Finland and Sweden if they join NATO and decide to invade there? We'd be in the same MAD scenario only that NATO is forced to act militarily. The MAD call would be raised and someone has to lay down their cards and/or fold...Or launch nukes.

As others have pointed out, what happens elsewhere. Do we just let China take Taiwan because of nukes? NK take SK because they have nukes? Should the US (NATO) just back off from every scenario where a nuke power invades another nation? Just go full-on isolationist because of the perpetual threat of Nukes? Idk. But it seems like this isn't our first rodeo and the world hasn't become radioactively winterized because of past conflicts. Maybe this one is different. Hard to say.

And logically, (though logic may not apply), would Russia really nuke the planet? It seems counter-intuitive considering no one would get anything they want. It would all be gone. Think of how sad the oligarchs would be if their yachts were vaporized.

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Offline crutonius

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From what I understand, Russia's nuclear arsenals is controlled by the Strategic Rocket Forces which has a good degree of independent from their executive branch.

It may be the case that Putin can't just circumvent this separation of powers without the attempt being very visible.

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Offline crutonius

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There's also another problem with the strategy of letting psychos with nukes just have whatever they want; there's more than one psycho with a lot of nukes. 

Suppose we isolate.  Every bad actor with a nuclear arsenal starts grabbing land like a fire sale.  What happens if they start challenging each other?  I guess at least we can claim that the end of the world wasn't our fault.