View Poll Results: Whom do you support and to what extent?

Voters
99. You may not vote on this poll
  • I support Ukraine fully.

    64 64.65%
  • I support Russia fully.

    12 12.12%
  • I only support Russia's claim over Crimea.

    4 4.04%
  • I only support Russia's claim over Crimea and Donbass (Luhansk and Donetsk regions).

    6 6.06%
  • Not sure.

    6 6.06%
  • I don't care.

    7 7.07%

Thread: Russia, US, Ukraine, and the Future

  1. #3661
    z3n's Avatar State of Mind
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    Default Re: Russia, US, Ukraine, and the Future

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidBN View Post
    In war, the more enemy territory you take, the easier it is to convince the enemy to negotiate. So no, Putin is not trying to be polite, he's simply not winning.

    Besides, taking all the coast and linking with Transnistria is their stated plan B. Which at this point doesn't seem particularly realistic either.
    If Putin took Odessa he'd never be able to give it back. Odessa means too much to Russia, but realistically I'm not sure negotiations would only be successful in the longterm with Odessa taken. That would crush Ukraine to the point where they'd probably never recover or have nearly as much potential and Ukraine knows it.
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  2. #3662
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    Default Re: Russia, US, Ukraine, and the Future

    To crush Ukrainian spirits you have to take Odessa first. Easier said than done.

  3. #3663
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    Default Re: Russia, US, Ukraine, and the Future

    I'm not sure I can see Russia taking Odessa. I believe an amphibious assault is off the table. And realistically all Russia can aim now is the fight around the Donbas. In the south its had to basically go on the defensive. Given the stream of western military aid and economic aid its hard to see Russia even if manages some encirclement or thrusting the Ukrainians back out of the Donbas being able to manage a new offensive in this year.

    Also not sure all the most recent rush of artillery on NATO standards can be tossed into the Donbas if Russia is willing to really spend blood now... But that could mean a force exhausted and facing a capable counter attack.
    Last edited by conon394; April 22, 2022 at 08:51 PM.
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  4. #3664
    z3n's Avatar State of Mind
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    Default Re: Russia, US, Ukraine, and the Future

    Quote Originally Posted by Vanoi View Post
    To crush Ukrainian spirits you have to take Odessa first. Easier said than done.
    I was referring to their economy, because turning Ukraine into an entirely landlocked country would be something they can't really recover from easily. Might affect Ukraine morale too, not really sure if it matters by that point though, effectively it's a massive issue either way for them.
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  5. #3665

    Default Re: Russia, US, Ukraine, and the Future

    Quote Originally Posted by nhytgbvfeco2 View Post

    Ultimately, your attempts to drive a wedge and sow division only benefit Putin, no one else. Instead of trying to unite people against Putin, you're trying to send more right wingers into his hands.
    Too late.

    See, here in the US Putin already has the right-wing voters as his dupes and useful idiots. Most of the right's ideas and viewpoints were made up in the Kremlin, calculated to maximize the benefit to Russia at the US's expense, them disseminated through traitors and collaborators in right-wing media and the Republican party to the right-wing voter where it is believed without question.

    A few examples:

    1. "Climate change is a hoax and burning fossil fuels has absolutely no negative consequences." This is the Republican position for three reasons, to benefit Russia's fossil fuel-based economy, because climate change will benefit Russia by opening up arctic seaports year round as well as large tracks of Siberia for colonization and resource exploitation, and because climate change will cripple the US by desertification of most of the great plains.

    2. "Green energy is socialism." Closely related to the last talking point, Putin has many reasons to keep the world hooked on Russian oil. He also knows that a US green energy revolution would lead to tremendous wealth and technological innovation in the US, making it a dire threat to his eventual goal of turning the US into a poor backwards third-world Russian vassal state.

    3. "Covid is a hoax, all doctors are lying communists, vaccines are poison, ect." Putin wanted to harm the US economy and kill as many Americans as possible. So he ordered his lackeys to start lying as much as they could. And with over a million dead and millions more dealing with long-term health issues, they succeeded.

    And of course:

    4. "TRUMP WON!" For nearly two years now Putin has had his lackeys constantly repeating the big lie that Trump really won the election. That Trump whimpers in fear of Putin is a nice bonus, but what Putin really wants is to cause chaos and maybe even a civil war.

    Add to that the other common right-wing views known to be promoted by Russian trolls/dupes (CRTZOMG!/Hunter's Laptop that the blind guy found by a miracle/Qanon/The Clinton Body Count, ect) and it's easy to see Putin's hidden hand in nearly everything the right-wing voter believes.

    What can be done about this? How do we even begin to counteract the biggest and most successful propaganda operation in history? I honestly don't know.

  6. #3666
    nhytgbvfeco2's Avatar Praepositus
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    Default Re: Russia, US, Ukraine, and the Future

    Quote Originally Posted by Coughdrop addict View Post
    Too late.

    See, here in the US Putin already has the right-wing voters as his dupes and useful idiots. Most of the right's ideas and viewpoints were made up in the Kremlin, calculated to maximize the benefit to Russia at the US's expense, them disseminated through traitors and collaborators in right-wing media and the Republican party to the right-wing voter where it is believed without question.
    Time for that opinion poll again:


    The difference in support for Putin between Republican votes and Democrat voters is, at this stage, negligible.


    A few examples:

    1. "Climate change is a hoax and burning fossil fuels has absolutely no negative consequences." This is the Republican position for three reasons, to benefit Russia's fossil fuel-based economy, because climate change will benefit Russia by opening up arctic seaports year round as well as large tracks of Siberia for colonization and resource exploitation, and because climate change will cripple the US by desertification of most of the great plains.
    I don't think that's why some Republicans don't believe in climate change, and I suspect that no one in their right mind would believe such a thing.

    2. "Green energy is socialism." Closely related to the last talking point, Putin has many reasons to keep the world hooked on Russian oil. He also knows that a US green energy revolution would lead to tremendous wealth and technological innovation in the US, making it a dire threat to his eventual goal of turning the US into a poor backwards third-world Russian vassal state.
    Russian oil is negligible in the US, and easily avoidable seeing as the US has the means to be energy independent, as it was under Trump. If one does not believe in climate change green energy makes no sense, so this point is extremely co-dependant on the previous. It cannot stand on its own.
    3. "Covid is a hoax, all doctors are lying communists, vaccines are poison, ect." Putin wanted to harm the US economy and kill as many Americans as possible. So he ordered his lackeys to start lying as much as they could. And with over a million dead and millions more dealing with long-term health issues, they succeeded.
    And yet it was Trump that rushed the creation of a vaccine (with Democrats such as Harris and Biden spreading anti-vax sentiment by saying they would not take the 'Trump vaccine'), and Trump that all the way through urged his supporters to take the vaccine. In fact, the demographic that had the lowest vaccination isn't Trump supporters, and I think you're well aware of that.
    And of course:

    4. "TRUMP WON!" For nearly two years now Putin has had his lackeys constantly repeating the big lie that Trump really won the election. That Trump whimpers in fear of Putin is a nice bonus, but what Putin really wants is to cause chaos and maybe even a civil war.

    Add to that the other common right-wing views known to be promoted by Russian trolls/dupes (CRTZOMG!/Hunter's Laptop that the blind guy found by a miracle/Qanon/The Clinton Body Count, ect) and it's easy to see Putin's hidden hand in nearly everything the right-wing voter believes.

    What can be done about this? How do we even begin to counteract the biggest and most successful propaganda operation in history? I honestly don't know.
    You complain about divisiveness in American society and how it could lead to civil war, yet here you are, spreading more of it. You're just as much of an unknowing agent to Putin as those who said vaccines kill, if not moreso. Instead of attempting to re-unite American society you seek to only deepen the divides.
    Even here, on the Ukraine issue, in your attempts to turn a bi-partisan issue into a partisan one. What's your endgoal? pushing everyone on the right to support Putin? I will not. We will not.

  7. #3667
    conon394's Avatar hoi polloi
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    Default Re: Russia, US, Ukraine, and the Future

    Russian oil is negligible in the US, and easily avoidable seeing as the US has the means to be energy independent, as it was under Trump
    Energy independent is a elastic term and Trump had little to do with it. If you mean Petroleum independent that was largely an occurrence of the Bush Jr and Obama admins. More over the US is a relatively high cost producer so that petroleum independence is not say comparable to the House of Saud.

    If one does not believe in climate change green energy makes no sense, so this point is extremely co-dependant on the previous. It cannot stand on its own.
    That is non nonsensical green energy makes scene if if you absoultly reject climate change. The externalities the petroleum and fracking industry get to ignore grossly distort the over cause of its production. Also you need to factor in the health cost of both large scale production on local residents and off anyone living a smog ridden city. Again more ignored externalities.

    And yet it was Trump that rushed the creation of a vaccine
    Sort of of course not the Pfizer one. And second of course his admin tried every year to slash the funding for the basic research that lead to the mRNA vaccines...
    IN PATROCINIVM SVB Dromikaites

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    But if the cause be not good, the king himself hath a heavy reckoning to make, when all those legs and arms and heads, chopped off in battle, shall join together at the latter day and cry all 'We died at such a place; some swearing, some crying for surgeon, some upon their wives left poor behind them, some upon the debts they owe, some upon their children rawly left.

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  8. #3668
    Morticia Iunia Bruti's Avatar Tribunus
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    Default Re: Russia, US, Ukraine, and the Future

    As it was a development by the german company Biontech, certainly not Trumps merit.

    The Pfizer–BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine (INN: tozinameran), sold under the brand name Comirnaty,[2][20] is an mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccine developed by the German biotechnology company BioNTech. For its development, BioNTech collaborated with American company Pfizer to carry out clinical trials, logistics, and manufacturing.[28][29]

    Pfizer–BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine - Wikipedia
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  9. #3669
    nhytgbvfeco2's Avatar Praepositus
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    Default Re: Russia, US, Ukraine, and the Future

    Quote Originally Posted by conon394 View Post
    Energy independent is a elastic term and Trump had little to do with it. If you mean Petroleum independent that was largely an occurrence of the Bush Jr and Obama admins. More over the US is a relatively high cost producer so that petroleum independence is not say comparable to the House of Saud.
    It's true that it's an elastic term, however my main point still stands that the US was at no point reliant on Russian oil, which was always minor.


    That is non nonsensical green energy makes scene if if you absoultly reject climate change. The externalities the petroleum and fracking industry get to ignore grossly distort the over cause of its production. Also you need to factor in the health cost of both large scale production on local residents and off anyone living a smog ridden city. Again more ignored externalities.
    At the same time, however, there are many people who would lose their jobs if fossil fuels were to be abandoned, and green energy is in a lot of cases simply not a viable solution economically speaking. If you ignore climate benefits entirely then it doesn't seem like a sensible move.


    Sort of of course not the Pfizer one. And second of course his admin tried every year to slash the funding for the basic research that lead to the mRNA vaccines...
    Quote Originally Posted by Morticia Iunia Bruti View Post
    As it was a development by the german company Biontech, certainly not Trumps merit.

    The Pfizer–BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine (INN: tozinameran), sold under the brand name Comirnaty,[2][20] is an mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccine developed by the German biotechnology company BioNTech. For its development, BioNTech collaborated with American company Pfizer to carry out clinical trials, logistics, and manufacturing.[28][29]

    Pfizer–BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine - Wikipedia
    And yet it recieved funding as part of operation warp speed.
    "Pfizer head of vaccine research and development Dr. Kathrin Jansen initially said Pfizer was not a participant in Operation Warp Speed because it did not accept taxpayer funds for research and development, but Pfizer released a statement saying her comments had been "taken out of context" and confirmed that Pfizer was a part of the Warp Speed program.[62] The White House confirmed Pfizer's involvement and the government's initial advance-order purchase for a hundred million doses of vaccine.[63] Company representatives said in November that "the company is part of Operation Warp Speed as a supplier of a potential coronavirus vaccine,"[64] and that "Pfizer is proud to be one of various vaccine manufacturers participating in Operation Warp Speed as a supplier of a potential COVID-19 vaccine."[65]"



    We're moving away from the topic, however.

  10. #3670
    Ludicus's Avatar Vicarius Provinciae
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    Default Re: Russia, US, Ukraine, and the Future

    Quote Originally Posted by nhytgbvfeco2 View Post
    As for Ludicus's statements, I think I found a solution:
    Imagine, for a brief moment, that Ukraine was not being invaded by Russia but rather, god forbid, the USA!
    Good try... Read below. (1) nhytgbvfeco2, don't mix apples with oranges.
    ----


    They don't care much about the situation in Ukraine” Turkey's FM says some NATO allies want 'longer' Ukraine war
    “There are countries within NATO that want the Ukraine war to continue. They see the continuation of the war as weakening Russia. They don't care much about the situation in Ukraine”
    Well, Boris the seer predicts the war will last until the end of 2023.

    Von der Leyen has not the competency to commit EU to deal swiftly with Ukraine’s application to the EU. 23 years ago, Turkey was officially recognized as a candidate for full membership. After all these years, EU accuses Turkey of 'backsliding' on reforms to join bloc

    Under the current circumstances, Turkey’s accession negotiations have effectively come to a standstill
    For Turkey, what does Genesis 29:29 means? The same thing is going to happen with Ukraine.
    Let’s face the facts, before the war, Ukraine has never fulfilled the necessary conditions- political, social and even economic conditions- to become part of the EU. Entry into the EU would require unanimity among the 27 EU countries, and that is not going to happen any time soon.Ukraine applies for EU membership, EU hesitant - The Brusseles Times.
    there is no “fast track procedure” for joining the EU.The way to EU membership is long and even the candidate countries in Western Balkans do not know if and when they will be admitted to the Union.This depends on the reforms they are required to implement – especially in the areas of the rule of law, anti-corruption and public administration – in order to meet EU’s conditions for membership. European Council President Michel commented that there are different opinions in the Council about Ukrainian EU membership at this stage.
    In fact, the Ukrainian-Russian conflict is neither a necessary nor a sufficient condition for Ukraine's automatic access to the EU.
    --
    Here I go again...We can add Daniel Ellsberg's name to many other like-minded Americans.

    Daniel Ellsberg on the Existential Threat of Global Conflict
    “As the world has correctly perceived, this has the seeds of a regional nuclear war and all-out war between the US and Russia.”
    Arguably no human on earth has given more thought over the past 65 years to the possibilities of nuclear war—intentional or accidental—than Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg. Since Ellsberg joined the RAND Corporation as an analyst in 1958, he has accumulated a vast wealth of knowledge and perspective on how superpowers use their nuclear muscle to impose their will on the world, and on how their political and military elites strategize about conflicts in the nuclear era.

    In 1971, horrified by the trajectory of the Vietnam War, Ellsberg leaked the Pentagon Papers to The New York Times. More recently, in 2017, he published a book, The Doomsday Machine, revealing secret US nuclear strategies—several of which, in the 1960s, Ellsberg himself was involved in crafting—and acts dating back to the dawn of the Cold War.

    (...) he was incredulous at the notion, too often accepted as a given by commentators, that no superpower since the end of World War II has committed such heinous atrocities.

    “I’m 91,” he says. “So, I’m burdened by an awful lot of historical analogies in my lifetime, many of which I participated in: the buildup of nuclear weapons, and the Vietnam War, which were moral catastrophes...Or the US invasion of Afghanistan or Iraq. Or Hitler’s invasion of Poland. Iraq, Afghanistan, Vietnam by the US—we haven’t reached that level remotely yet in Ukraine.”
    He is furious at the shortsighted policies pushed by George W. Bush’s administration, and continued by the administrations that came after, to expand NATO east onto Russia’s flank.

    In dangling the prospect of NATO membership before Ukraine’s government, even if NATO didn’t actually want the country as a member, Washington was, Ellsberg came to feel, deliberately tempting Russia to intervene.

    Ellsberg argues that a critical mass of ordinary Americans are paying attention to, and being morally outraged by, the “demolition” of a mainly white, and mainly Christian country in a way that past wars didn’t—particularly those launched by the US against non-white, non-Christian countries over recent decades.

    Ellsberg specifically mentioned the use of phosphorous bombs, which burn through to the bone, by the United States and its allies in both Iraq and Afghanistan, and napalm used against civilians in Vietnam. Then, going back to World War II and the all-out effort to defeat fascism, he spoke of allied bombing raids that deliberately created firestorms in Dresden and Hamburg—killing tens of thousands of civilians in single nights in the two German cities—as well as a raid against Berlin, in February 1945, which failed to generate a firestorm but still killed roughly 25,000 people. He detailed the bombing of 64 cities in Japan before the atomic attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, that cumulatively killed roughly 900,000 people—including up to 120,000 who died in Tokyo in a firestorm created by saturation bombing.

    Ellsberg is worried that a reinvigorated NATO, and a military-industrial complex champing at the bit to sell ever more weapons—both to sustain Ukraine in resisting invasion, and, if it were to be successfully occupied, to make possible years of insurgency(...)
    In Putin’s threats of nuclear attack against those who would intervene to defend Ukraine, Ellsberg sees echoes of Nixon’s self-proclaimed “madman strategy,” in which he periodically let the Vietnamese know that he was actively considering exploding nuclear weapons on their country if they didn’t back down. So, too, he sees echoes of Eisenhower’s declared willingness to launch a nuclear war against the Chinese during the early days of Mao’s rule; and the Strategic Air Command’s determination, documented in Ellsberg’s book, that, in the event of a US-Soviet nuclear conflict, in addition to targeting all major Soviet cities, US forces would also be ordered to launch nuclear attacks on all major Chinese population centers.
    Here, Ellsberg discusses the continuing existential threat posed by the military-industrial complex—and what needs to be done about it.The Truth-Teller: From the Pentagon Papers to the Doomsday Machine.
    ---
    I can´t help but notice that Boris Johnson is Le Pen’s best friend.The demagogue likens Ukrainians’ fight to British people voting for Brexit.Meanwhile, as expected, Tory and Brexit supporters back far-right Marine Le Pen
    On a side note, it is no wonder that fascist Portugal was one of the founding members of NATO: a substantial number of American politics/American media preach freedom - and love Salazar. But the word freedom doesn’t rhyme with fascism.
    A historical rubbish The Critic Magazine
    It is astonishing that a small country managed to fight three Vietnams at once! Although given the vast disparity in size between Portugal and the United States, it would be fairer to wonder how Bush’s wars would have played out if they’d been prosecuted by, say, New Jersey... But if Frum is genuinely wondering why right-wingers praising the Estado Novo don’t mention that “the regime’s biggest and most expensive project was to fight and lose three massive, bloody colonial wars in Africa between 1960 and 1974”, it’s probably because it’s ahistorical rubbish.
    I don't know whether to laugh or cry.

    (1)

    I condemn the invasion of Ukraine the same way I condemn the invasion of Iraq or Libya. Having said that,criticism of Putin should not mean endorsement of NATO or praise for Zelensky.
    Russia is the vanguard of authoritarian neo-liberalism and surveillance capitalism.Putin is an authoritarian leader who has nothing to do with socialism or communism. Zelensky is the product of a certain oligarchy, most notably the banker Kolomoyskye.

    According to the Politico, in 2019, The comedian and the oligarch - POLITICO
    Kolomoyskye...playing the righteous Trotsky to Poroshenko’s evil Stalin, he has accused the president of being “totally immoral” and a “slave to absolute power”. With Zelenskiy’s meteoric rise, however, Kolomoisky has the upper hand again.
    Not anymore. Zelensky oligarch friend was accused by the US and the UK of stealing billions.I it seems that Washington just did some of the dirty work for him. But what has Zelensky done? Pandora Papers Reveal Offshore Holdings of Ukrainian
    Even as Zelensky pushes his anti-oligarch campaign, some continue to doubt his sincerity. Among them is Ruslan Ryaboshapka, who was picked by Zelensky as the country’s top prosecutor in 2019, but ousted from the role in early 2020. He told OCCRP he believes this was due to pressure from the oligarch Kolomoisky. “A president shouldn’t own offshore companies. In general offshore companies are bad, whether they’re owned by a president or not,” Ryaboshapka said.
    The ongoing factionalism and fanaticism is such that outside and also in this country, athletes, artists and musicians are forbidden to perform, just because of their Russian nationality!? here, a Russian restaurant with Ukrainian chiefs has no customers because of the war!

    In addition to what I already mentioned in my last post, I recall that Zelenky's first acts were...

    1
    - to remove Ukraine from the UN Committee on the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People,

    Of course, the AJC praised Zelensky. Zelensky doesn’t want “Palestinian people to realize their right to self-determination, to achieve the two-State solution wherein Palestinians and Israelis live side-by-side in peace within secure and recognized pre-1967 borders with East Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Palestine, to find a just solution to the plight of the Palestine refugees, and to ensure that all final status issues are solely decided through negotiations between the parties”.English Statement of the Bureau of the Palestinian Rights Committee upon Meeting with President of the 76th General Assembly 30 March 2022

    The irony is inescapable.

    2- ...and immediately afterwards to vote against the UN General Assembly Resolution to combat “glorification of Nazism, Neo-Nazism and other practices that contribute to fuelling contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance”.
    Two countries voted against: US and Ukraine. in this case, Israel, faithful US ally, voted in favor. It could not be otherwise...



    ---
    In the long,long, long run... some relatively good news,
    Ukraine war | Green hydrogen 'now cheaper than grey in Europe, Middle East and China.
    The invasion by Russia and the subsequent moves to reduce reliance on its gas means that renewable H2 could already be seen as a viable option over the long term, says analyst.
    The Iberian Peninsula becomes the main hub of clean hydrogen in Europe
    The Iberian Peninsula is becoming one of the main centers for the production of green hydrogen worldwide.According to experts, the growing interest in the Iberian Peninsula for the creation of green hydrogen infrastructure is due to the potential of Portugal and Spain for the production of solar and wind energy. This allows the two countries to produce green hydrogen at a lower cost than what is practiced in other European countries.
    Il y a quelque chose de pire que d'avoir une âme perverse. C’est d'avoir une âme habituée
    Charles Péguy

    Every human society must justify its inequalities: reasons must be found because, without them, the whole political and social edifice is in danger of collapsing”.
    Thomas Piketty

  11. #3671
    conon394's Avatar hoi polloi
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    Default Re: Russia, US, Ukraine, and the Future

    I condemn the invasion of Ukraine the same way I condemn the invasion of Iraq or Libya
    ON those second two just to be clear that means you comend the status quo in Iraq before the invasion?

    On the Last so you are opposed to responsibility to protect?

    Daniel Ellsberg on the Existential Threat of Global Conflict...

    Well I'm sure he had just made an impassioned plea to the Nazi government we all could have lined our soldiers up on the village green and fought out the war. But until he comes with a better way to win a total war not started by the allies with the means at hand I will be ignoring his comments on WW2.

    UN General Assembly Resolution to combat “glorification of Nazism, Neo-Nazism and other practices that contribute to fuelling contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance”.
    UN performance art Ludicus. Not saying the US does not do the same in the UN. But really when some of your backers are Burma (I sure the rohingya feel far more protected from contemporary racism) and and North Korea don't make me laugh.

    Oh and Russia as well I wonder how they would vote a bit to stop killing or try to kill dissidents abroad with all kind of fun food additives.

    They don't care much about the situation in Ukraine” Turkey's FM says some NATO allies want 'longer' Ukraine war
    Sort of a non statement statement.

    Could you actually suggest your solution capitulate now to Putin and what next?

    Here is a fun graph

    https://chrisblattman.com/files/2022...7.56.27-AM.png



    OK fun guessing game which one of the four is in NATO and the EU and name 2 consigned to Russia orbit now or in one case just trying to leave. Second question adjust the one that is basically a petro state and see how the number look without high oil prices...


    ----------------


    Wow, even Ludicus is starting to admit that Marshmallow was wrong about his EU/NATO obsession.
    As if there was no threat to Russia in some IRT sense but a worry by a paranoid dictator and his cronies.
    Last edited by conon394; April 23, 2022 at 11:13 PM.
    IN PATROCINIVM SVB Dromikaites

    'One day when I fly with my hands - up down the sky, like a bird'

    But if the cause be not good, the king himself hath a heavy reckoning to make, when all those legs and arms and heads, chopped off in battle, shall join together at the latter day and cry all 'We died at such a place; some swearing, some crying for surgeon, some upon their wives left poor behind them, some upon the debts they owe, some upon their children rawly left.

    Hyperides of Athens: We know, replied he, that Antipater is good, but we (the Demos of Athens) have no need of a master at present, even a good one.

  12. #3672

    Default Re: Russia, US, Ukraine, and the Future

    So two more oligarchs living abroad were killed in mysterious "murder/suicides" along with their families.

    Hubris is perhaps the universal flaw of all those that dedicate themselves to the service of a tyrant. Each and every one harbours the belief that they are canny/loyal/useful enough to avoid the fate that befalls so many of their countrymen. None ever believes that he will end up against a wall the moment the tyrant finds him to be inconvenient.

  13. #3673
    Mithradates's Avatar Campidoctor
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    Default Re: Russia, US, Ukraine, and the Future

    It’s the 60th day of the war, and Russia still couldn’t take Mariupol, so I think Odessa, a city more than twice as big, is safe from them. Safe from the occupation, but not from Russian "precision" missiles fired at residential areas, killing several civilians.

    Without making it public, Slovakia has started transferring T-72 tanks to Ukraine, Ukraine now has more tanks on the ground than Russia does


    The administration of the Tver region purchased 100,000 "patriotic" stickers for 3.8 million rubles and hung them around the city, the stickers turned out to be of such bad quality that they quickly faded in the sun and turned into the flag of Ukraine. hehhehe


  14. #3674
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    Default Re: Russia, US, Ukraine, and the Future

    For reference it took the US 30 days in an attempt to take a city from 3600 lightly armed infantry. The US actually ended up withdrawing from the city, so imo, Russia did pretty well with Mariupol compared to the US in Fallujah.
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    Default Re: Russia, US, Ukraine, and the Future

    Quote Originally Posted by z3n View Post
    For reference it took the US 30 days in an attempt to take a city from 3600 lightly armed infantry. The US actually ended up withdrawing from the city, so imo, Russia did pretty well with Mariupol compared to the US in Fallujah.
    Trueish, But the population of Falluja wasn't supposedly proAmerican. And Falluja isn't just across the border from Texas, or had a port.

    Furthermore, US forces on the ground were even less than the insurgents, just above 2 thousand, and the total body count was a little over 800. In fact the US forces only lost 27 soldiers in that battle. And even through the rosiest of extimations, ALL these numbers are way lower than those of Mariupol.

    Not exactly comparable.
    Last edited by Bande Nere; April 24, 2022 at 01:57 PM.

  16. #3676
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bande Nere View Post
    Trueish, But the population of Falluja wasn't supposedly proAmerican. And Falluja isn't just across the border from Texas, or had a port.

    Furthermore, US forces on the ground were even less than the insurgents, just above 2 thousand, and the total body count(If you mean the first battle of Falluja) was a little over 800. In fact the US forces only lost 27 soldiers in that battle. And even through the rosiest of extimations, ALL these numbers are way lower than those of Mariupol.

    Not exactly comparable.


    The US had total dominance of the sky (opposition had no fighter jets or bombers), total dominance of the tanks (opposition had no tanks), total dominance of the cruise missiles (opposition had no cruise missiles), and total dominance on the ground in sheer numbers (opposition had less training, weaponry, and troops).

    Furthermore, the US had 13,350 infantry alone (discounting the number of troops supporting the fighter aircraft which ran constant strikes), plus heavy weapons like tanks, light "tanks" (troop carriers), assorted vehicles and better weaponry (legit "machine guns", better missiles, better equipment). During the initial siege the US did have 2500 infantry men (the 3600 infantry from the opposition is a rough US estimate btw, and may be inflated). If we were to count the naval crews which may have launched the cruise missiles, or fighter jet crews, that would inflate the numbers on the American side.


    In total it took over 75 days (if you consider Mariupol to be fallen right now) before Fallujah fell to the US. Despite the completely lopsided scale (13,350 infantry + tanks + fighter jets + missiles vs "3600" infantry).
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  17. #3677

    Default Re: Russia, US, Ukraine, and the Future

    Quote Originally Posted by z3n View Post
    The US had total dominance of the sky (opposition had no fighter jets or bombers), total dominance of the tanks (opposition had no tanks), total dominance of the cruise missiles (opposition had no cruise missiles), and 1)total dominance on the ground in sheer numbers (opposition had less training, weaponry, and troops).

    Furthermore, 2)the US had 13,350 infantry alone (discounting the number of troops supporting the fighter aircraft which ran constant strikes), plus heavy weapons like tanks, light "tanks" (troop carriers), assorted vehicles and better weaponry (legit "machine guns", better missiles, better equipment). During the initial siege the US did have 2500 infantry men (the 3600 infantry from the opposition is a rough US estimate btw, and 3)may be inflated). If we were to count the naval crews which may have launched the cruise missiles, or fighter jet crews, that would inflate the numbers on the American side.


    In total it took over 75 days (if you consider Mariupol to be fallen right now) before Fallujah fell to the US. Despite the completely lopsided scale (13,350 infantry + tanks + fighter jets + missiles vs "3600" infantry).

    It was estimated that there were 12–24 separate "hardcore" groups of insurgents, armed with RPGs, machine guns, mortars and anti-aircraft weapons, some of it supplied by the Iraqi Police.
    1) Pretty sure Russian forces fighting in Mariupol are many more than the Ukrainians, since the start of hostilities. The Ukrainian Air Force trying to intervene there would have been tantamount to suicide(for UKR pilots). And I seem to remember Russia has the largest number of actual tanks in the World. Mariupol has been bombed by ships, planes and ground artillery. Not exactly a tiny force of wannabes.

    2) Can you provide a link for that number?

    3) Might also be smaller than the real number. The truth is we don't know either way.

    Are we still talking about the first Battle or did you skip to the second one?


    EDIT: ok so you switched to the Second Battle, at least considering the numbers reported in point 2. I don't know where you took those 75 days from, though. The second battle lasted 1 month, 2 weeks and 2 days per wiki. That's less than 50 days.
    Last edited by Bande Nere; April 24, 2022 at 02:51 PM.

  18. #3678
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    I'm talking about Fallujah, here's the source, in direct comparison to Mariupol.

    In reference to your quote, 12-24 groups is a massively broad estimate btw. And they were described by Jonathan F. Keiler as "an indifferently armed rabble".

    In general, however, they were an indifferently armed rabble who could inflict casualties because of the nature of urban warfare and U.S. sensibilities. What if our forces find themselves facing well-trained Syrian commandos or Hezbollah guerrillas?
    My estimate of 3600 was actually pretty high, Jonathan F. Keiler states that the total force was roughly 2000.


    The Marines faced a mixed bag of urban guerrillas with few heavy weapons, but nonetheless they were armed for close-quarter combat. Before the battle, the enemy force was estimated to be 2,000.

    He also states that the combined force of the marines that attacked the city was lower than what the Western press reported:

    The Marine Corps’ reputation as an elite and feared combat force will ride in part on how Fallujah and similar battles are perceived at home and abroad.
    The combined Marine-Army-Iraqi force for Operation al-Fajr was many times larger than the force employed in April 2004. Numerous press reports placed the total size of coalition forces at 10,000-15,000. The actual assault element comprised about 6,000 U.S. troops in four Marine battalions (3/1, 1/3, 3/5, 1/8) and Army Task Force 2-2 (two mechanized battalions).[12] About 2,000 Iraqi troops bolstered the assault force, which was supported by aircraft and several Marine and Army artillery battalions.


    1) Frankly, we don't really know how many troops are in Mariupol on either side, we just have rough estimates, but they're in line with the ratios of the US vs a lightly armed rabble in Fallujah.
    2) See above.
    3) Yes, completely agree.
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    Default Re: Russia, US, Ukraine, and the Future

    Quote Originally Posted by z3n View Post
    I'm talking about Fallujah, here's the source, in direct comparison to Mariupol.

    In reference to your quote, 12-24 groups is a massively broad estimate btw. And they were described by Jonathan F. Keiler as "an indifferently armed rabble".

    My estimate of 3600 was actually pretty high, Jonathan F. Keiler states that the total force was roughly 2000.

    He also states that the combined force of the marines that attacked the city was lower than what the Western press reported:

    1) Frankly, we don't really know how many troops are in Mariupol on either side, we just have rough estimates, but they're in line with the ratios of the US vs a lightly armed rabble in Fallujah.
    2) See above.
    3) Yes, completely agree.
    Maybe a link that's not pay per view?

    My quote came from the link you yourself provided about the first battle.

    6 months passed between the end of the first and the start of the second, we should either use one or the other as comparison. And again, Russian and separatist forces besieging Mariupol are most definitely more than 15 thousand. Mariupol is only a few hundred kilometers from Russian borders. Logistics are relevant.

  20. #3680
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    Default Re: Russia, US, Ukraine, and the Future

    First things first, I must make it clear that I do not take wikipedia as fact, more like a vague amalgamation of opinions that may turn out to be true when you check the sources. It's a personal preference of mine drilled into me by my high school teachers years ago and I've stuck with it.

    So please don't think because I linked there as a brief outline that I stand by anything said on Wikipedia 100%, I'd maybe take Britannica at face value but even then, it's an encyclopaedia.



    I'm simply offering critque of that quote, as it seems very incorrect. "12-24" is a huge range to begin with, and very vague.


    6 months passed between the end of the first and the start of the second, we should either use one or the other as comparison. And again, Russian and separatist forces besieging Mariupol are most definitely more than 15 thousand. Mariupol is only a few hundred kilometers from Russian borders. Logistics are relevant.
    Why? The experts don't, ones I've read anyway.


    Maybe a link that's not pay per view?
    Here's the article by Jonathan F. Keiler below:

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    Who Won the Battle of Fallujah?

    Jonathan F. Keiler
    Proceedings, January 2005

    Enemy insurgents defending Fallujah were formidable because many of them were willing to fight to the death. In general, however, they were an indifferently armed rabble who could inflict casualties because of the nature of urban warfare and U.S. sensibilities. What if our forces find themselves facing well-trained Syrian commandos or Hezbollah guerrillas?

    Was Fallujah a battle we lost in April 2004, with ruinous results? Or was it a battle we won in November? The answer is yes. If that sounds awkward, it is because Fallujah was an awkward battle without an easy parallel in U.S. military history. It is hard to say whether the drawn-out process of securing that medium-sized Iraqi city was a one-time event or the beginning of a trend. I hope it is the former. And to make that outcome probable, I will objectively evaluate the battle here and offer comparisons of Marine Corps and Israel Defense Forces (IDF) doctrine and operations.

    The United States is likely to face more Fallujahs in the near future. The Marine Corps’ reputation as an elite and feared combat force will ride in part on how Fallujah and similar battles are perceived at home and abroad. In evaluating the battle, I considered the differing objectives of the two opposing forces and how close each came to achieving those objectives. One side’s objectives were more limited than the other’s. Third parties, such as Syria and Iran, may perceive the battle differently. Reaching honest answers to these questions requires looking beyond convenient bromides that recount U.S. heroics or anticipate favorable outcomes that remain largely unpredictable.

    Operation Valiant Resolve

    After its impressive initial victory in Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF), I Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF) returned to Iraq in 2004 to replace Army forces in parts of central and western Iraq. The 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment (1/5), was sent to Fallujah to relieve troops of the 82d Airborne Division. On 31 March 2004, four U.S. contractors driving through that city were ambushed and killed by Iraqi insurgents; their bodies were mutilated and displayed publicly before frenzied crowds in a scene reminiscent of the Battle of Mogadishu. A forceful response was vital and anticipated widely. Accordingly, 1/5, along with the 2nd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment (2/1), and supporting Army and Air Force special operations units were ordered to enter Fallujah for an operation dubbed Valiant Resolve. Their mission was to find and eliminate—or apprehend—the mujahadeen and any accomplices who had perpetrated the ambush. Resistance was expected. Rather than a stability and security operation, Valiant Resolve was to consist of deliberate assaults on prepared defenses.[1]

    When the attack commenced 5 April 2004, lead Marine elements were engaged quickly by well-armed and organized enemy units effectively using hit-and-run urban warfare. Despite heavy resistance, the Marines limited their firepower, relying mostly on rifles, machine guns, and snipers. They restricted air support to Cobra attack helicopters and AC-130 gunships.[2] On a few occasions—only after considerable deliberation—fixed-wing aircraft dropped guided bombs on insurgent targets, including a mosque used as a center of resistance.[3] In general, Marine units fought with impressive skill and with exceptional care for civilian lives and property. This solicitude, however, quickly limited the scope of the advance to outlying areas of the city. They did not attempt to penetrate the heart of the city, apparently because U.S. casualties would have been excessive, as would casualties among the inhabitants. The Marines did not want to “rubble the city.”[4]

    On 1 May 2004, Iraqi insurgents took to the streets of Fallujah to declare victory over the Marines. “We won,” an Iraqi insurgent told a reporter, explaining they had succeeded by keeping U.S. forces from taking the city.[5] Newspaper and televised reports showed Muslim gunmen celebrating their “triumph” with weapons, flags, and victory signs. U.S. authorities explained that a new Iraqi Fallujah Brigade would assume security duties in the city and ultimately accomplish the mission.




    According to the 1st Marine Division, by 13 April 2004, 39 U.S. Marines and soldiers had died in the battle, along with approximately 600 enemy fighters.[6] In much of the Arab and Muslim world, the Marines’ withdrawal was viewed as a U.S. defeat, an outlook encouraged by Al Jazerra television and other Islamic media.

    In some important respects, the initial push into Fallujah violated guidelines in the Corps’ urban warfare manual, MCWP 3-35.3. Often cautionary, the manual discusses 22 examples of modern urban warfare in detail and warns, “regardless of the size or quality of defensive forces, the defender usually extracts large costs from the attacker in time, resources, and casualties.”[7] Located 40 miles west of Baghdad, Fallujah is a city of about 300,000 people and 30 square kilometers of area. Its western edge lies along the Euphrates River. The Marines faced a mixed bag of urban guerrillas with few heavy weapons, but nonetheless they were armed for close-quarter combat. Before the battle, the enemy force was estimated to be 2,000.

    Marine Corps doctrine calls for isolating cities before the assault. “No single factor is more important to success than isolation of the urban area.” In all the examples provided in MCWP 3-35.3, “the attacker won all battles where the defender was isolated.”[8] The two battalions assigned the mission also were to cordon off the city: 2/1 from the north and 1/5 to the south and east. Although both cordoning and attacking a city of this size was a demanding task for two battalions, it appears the Marines effectively isolated the city early in the operation.[9]

    In addition to isolation, “overwhelming superiority is needed if all costs are to be minimized.” Here it may be that the objectives and means of Valiant Resolve became incompatible. Two reinforced battalions were tasked with isolating and attacking a medium-sized city. MCWP 3-35-3 notes, “in an attack on a built-up area (population of 100,000+), the GCE [ground combat element] of a MEF would be a Marine division.”[10] Fallujah’s population exceeds 100,000, but it is not Shanghai. Thus, while a division (normally composed of three infantry regiments and supporting units) was not needed to cope with the insurgent force in April, the Marines were at less than regimental strength.

    During the battle of Jenin in 2002, two Israeli infantry battalions engaged several hundred Palestinian guerrillas. Jenin’s population of about 26,000 was much smaller than Fallujah’s. According to Randy Gangle, director of the Center for Emerging Threats and Opportunities (a private concern in partnership with the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory), the Marines would have operated in Jenin with a single battalion, given its one square mile area.[11] The refugee camp where the main battle was waged is smaller still and densely populated. A Marine battalion probably would have done as well as the Israelis in Jenin. The tasks assigned to 1/5 and 2/1 in Fallujah, however, were of a different magnitude and beyond their capabilities—at least within what were deemed to be acceptable limits of friendly and civilian casualties and property destruction. Superiority does not necessarily entail a numerical advantage in men. At the same time, urban warfare marginalizes traditional Marine attributes, such as superior training and discipline.

    Depending on the tactical situation, manpower shortages may be compensated for by increased firepower, which Marine commanders were unwilling—or unable—to apply in Valiant Resolve. Indeed, it appears that leaders at the scene quickly came to this conclusion. The operation never progressed beyond the foothold stage. Marines gained access to the urban area (in that case, outlying industrial neighborhoods), but did not penetrate to the heart of the city, much less take it. After a few days of active combat, Marines cordoned off the area and the matter was “resolved” politically by establishment of the Fallujah Brigade. The bulk of the enemy force remained at large in the city and was reinforced. Fallujah became an insurgent stronghold and base for kidnappings, murders, and attacks that would cost the coalition dearly in the following months.

    Operation al-Fajr

    Between April and November 2004, both sides busily prepared for a rematch. Iraqi insurgents and foreign mujahadeen dug tunnels, emplaced mines and booby-traps, and improved their defenses. Meanwhile, most of Fallujah’s civilian population fled the city, which greatly reduced the potential for noncombatant casualties. The emptying city invited greater applications of air power. U.S. warplanes and artillery launched highly selective attacks, weakening insurgent defenses, hitting leadership targets, and laying the groundwork for a renewed assault. Although some estimates put insurgent strength before al-Fajr as high as 5,000, many of them—including most of their top leadership—fled before the battle. When U.S. troops crossed the line of departure, it is estimated that 2,000-3,000 insurgents remained in the city.

    The combined Marine-Army-Iraqi force for Operation al-Fajr was many times larger than the force employed in April 2004. Numerous press reports placed the total size of coalition forces at 10,000-15,000. The actual assault element comprised about 6,000 U.S. troops in four Marine battalions (3/1, 1/3, 3/5, 1/8) and Army Task Force 2-2 (two mechanized battalions).[12] About 2,000 Iraqi troops bolstered the assault force, which was supported by aircraft and several Marine and Army artillery battalions.

    With Fallujah cordoned by the remaining troops, the assault force struck from the north on 8 November 2004, quickly breaching insurgent defenses and reaching the heart of the city. Although fighting was at times severe, by 12 November, U.S.-Iraqi forces controlled 80% of the city.[13] Combatants and observers recognized a heavier and broader application of firepower. By 10 November, U.S. artillery batteries had fired at least 800 rounds into the city; a frequently cited report claimed 24 sorties were flown over the city on the first day of combat and a total of four 500-pound bombs was dropped.[14]

    Fallujah is sometimes called “the city of mosques”; and insurgents made heavy use of them as command posts, arms depots, and defensive positions. Inside the Saad Abi Bin Waqas Mosque in central Fallujah, Marines found small arms, artillery shells, and parts of missile systems. Marines and soldiers engaged insurgents emplaced in mosques, but always with great caution and often using Iraqi troops to finish off assaults. It took Company B, 1/8, fighting on foot, 16 hours of house-to-house combat to capture the Muhammadia Mosque, during which time they were attacked with everything from rocket-propelled grenades to suicide bombers.[15]

    Resistance stiffened in southern Fallujah as the assault force faced sometimes uniformed opponents who fought with increased professionalism and discipline. “When we found those boys in that bunker with their equipment, it became a whole new ballgame” said one soldier. He continued, “The way these guys fight is different than the insurgents.”[16] Nonetheless, by 20 November, the attackers had routed the remaining insurgents and taken the city.

    U.S. casualties in Operation al-Fajr were 51 killed and 425 seriously wounded; Iraqi government troops suffered 8 dead and 43 wounded; and as many as 1,200 insurgents were reported killed. Some knowledgeable analysts described these losses as historically light for an urban battle of Fallujah’s scale—and there is a sound basis for this claim. The U.S. forces avoided major disasters like the Soviets suffered in Grozny, and even more limited reversals, such as the IDF suffered in Jenin, when most of a platoon was destroyed in an ambush.[17]

    Yet despite the superb performance of Marines and soldiers in Fallujah, there is reason for concern. The 476 U.S. casualties represent about 8% of the total assault force, a low but not insignificant loss for less than two weeks’ combat.[18] Moreover, a surprising number of U.S. troops are wounded and returned to duty in Iraq—about 45% overall. For example, as of 12 November 2004, I MEF Commander Lieutenant General John Sattler reported that, while 170 troops had been wounded seriously, another 490 Marines and soldiers suffered wounds but were able to return to duty.[19] Extrapolating U.S. losses based on a 45% rate of wounded returning to duty, actual wounded in Fallujah might have been 616. Considering General Sattler’s actual figures, total wounded might have been more than 1,200 men (about 20% of the assault forces), a casualty rate that is not significantly lower than historical precedents. It is gratifying that U.S. troops are willing and able to fight on despite their wounds, but it is cause for concern when they are expected to take considerable casualties to spare civilians and infrastructure and appease the U.S. and international media.

    Analysis

    In many respects, the U.S. approach in Fallujah resembled Israeli tactics in the West Bank and Gaza. This is not surprising because numerous sources indicate that Marine and Army officers studied Israeli tactics prior to OIF. Israeli urban warfare tactics are sophisticated, effective, and well practiced. In many respects, however, the IDF has different operational and strategic objectives from U.S. forces. In addition, the IDF historically—for example, in Jerusalem in 1967, Beirut in 1982, and Jenin in 2002—has proved willing to take high casualties in urban warfare.

    Dating from the siege of Beirut in 1982, Israel has practiced a complex and limited form of urban warfare. In Beirut, this involved a cordon around the city, accompanied by limited attacks with artillery, ground, and air forces to put pressure on the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) and Syrian forces inside. The IDF did not launch a general assault on the city; it awaited a political solution that resulted in evacuation of enemy forces under the auspices of outside powers. Despite the IDF’s restraint, it was depicted as little short of barbaric by much of the international media. The PLO’s evacuation was treated as a victory parade, rather than the retreat it was, and the PLO lived to fight another day. The battle was a tactical victory for Israel, but a strategic defeat.

    The Beirut experience and ongoing domestic and international pressures color Israeli doctrine. Throughout the current struggle, the IDF generally has not occupied Palestinian cities, a notable exception being seizure of the Jenin refugee camp. (The Jenin operation is the exception that proves the rule: the IDF was castigated for its assault on Jenin and falsely accused of perpetrating a massacre.) IDF urban warfare doctrine effectively bans the use of fixed-wing aircraft and artillery in support of ground operations. Troops rely on attack helicopters and direct fire weapons—usually only small arms and machine guns. Israeli units cordon Palestinian cities and towns, seize a few key buildings or areas, and launch raids against suspected terrorists. Although these operations tend to be quite effective tactically, they result in strategic stalemate because Palestinian forces are left in place after the IDF withdraws.

    Tactically and operationally, fighting Israeli-style in an urban setting requires a heavy commitment of ground troops to make up for reduced fire support, and to intimidate rather than confront enemy forces. This allows Israeli units to achieve limited objectives. In June 2004, the IDF’s tunnel raids in Rafah, a small city in Gaza, required deployment of almost a division of Israel troops. (Israeli divisions are somewhat smaller than their U.S. counterparts, and the force in Rafah would have operated without artillery and other supporting elements.) Rafah has about half the population of Fallujah (167,000) and it is tiny in comparison: 5-6 square kilometers.

    In Valiant Resolve, U.S. tactics and highly restrictive rules of engagement closely mirrored Israeli techniques. Owing to these restrictions and too small a force, the operation was aborted, with arguably disastrous results for U.S. policy in Iraq. Many mistakes were corrected during al-Fajr. Heavy armor was employed, and air and artillery strikes were more liberally authorized. Even so, dropping four 500-pound bombs on the first day of a major assault remains an extremely selective application of firepower. Despite predictable claims that Fallujah was devastated, photos reveal superficial damage to most buildings and an occasional structure demolished. Television coverage of Marines engaged in harrowing room-to-room combat belie hysterical stories that entire city blocks were leveled.

    What would have happened had we met a tougher, more professional opponent in Fallujah? The insurgents were formidable because many were willing to fight to the death—but in the main, they were an indifferently armed rabble who could inflict casualties because of the nature of urban warfare and U.S. sensibilities. What if U.S. forces find themselves facing Syrian commandos or well-trained Hezbollah guerrillas?

    Conclusions

    Large ground forces are necessary when U.S. units adopt Israeli-style urban warfare tactics—which, to a large extent, the Marines appear to have done in Fallujah. To accomplish their mission in Valiant Resolve, they needed a considerably larger force to operate in the absence of heavy air and artillery support. Further, Israeli urban tactics are designed primarily for isolating selected areas, not seizing and holding terrain and buildings. If U.S. forces intend to take and clear an urban area block by block, as they did during al-Fajr, they are going to pay a heavier price. The result in Valiant Resolve was similar to what Israeli forces have achieved against the Palestinians: indecisive outcomes that keep the enemy in business. Operation al-Fajr weakened the Iraqi insurgency, but it came too late and too temperately to have broken the insurgency’s back, despite the claims of some U.S. officers. The men who killed the U.S. contractors—the act that precipitated the battle—have not been found, much less prosecuted. Many insurgents escaped Fallujah during the buildup after Valiant Resolve, and al Qaeda leader Abu Musab al Zarqawi remains at large.

    Was the battle of Fallujah a victory or a defeat? The Marine Corps’ military operations in urban terrain doctrine recognizes that tactical success does not necessarily translate to strategic victory. It notes the Israeli’s tactical victory in Beirut was a strategic defeat—and observes the same about the Battle of Hue in the Vietnam War, when Marines defeated an enemy that sought to put up a good fight but never expected to win. Much the same can be said of Fallujah’s defenders. In spite of the beating they took in November, they will continue to assert they repelled the initial attack and fought well thereafter.

    The potential problem for the Marine Corps and U.S. deterrence in general is more than just local. During a visit to Israel in the early 1980s, an Israeli acquaintance described his military service to me as “an Israeli Marine.” Israel does not have Marines; he meant he had been in the paratroops, which were the best and toughest soldiers in the IDF. He assumed that an American would understand a comparison with U.S. Marines—and I did.

    At that time, the IDF could deploy paratroops to disturbances in the West Bank or Gaza who, by simply showing up in their red berets, could settle things down. Much has changed in 20 years. Today, no Israeli paratrooper would be so foolish as to wear his beret in Nablus or Ramallah. Israeli paratroopers continue to fight well. Nonetheless, a couple of decades of persistent and inconclusive combat in Lebanon and urban combat in the territories have done much to erode their regional, if not international, reputation.

    The handwriting is on the wall. The Battle of Fallujah was not a defeat—but we cannot afford many more victories like it.

    Robert D. Kaplan, “Five Days in Fallujah,” The Atlantic Monthly, July/August 2004, p. 118. back to article
    Pamela Constable, “Troops Gaining Grip on Sections of Fallujah” The Washington Post, 7 April 2004. back to article
    GySgt. Mark Oliva, “Marines Suspend Fallujah Offensive, Push Humanitarian Aid,” Marine Corps News at www.usmc.mil, 13 April 2004. back to article
    Brendan Miniter, “The Fallujah Brigade,” The Wall Street Journal, 1 June 2004. back to article
    Rajiv Chandrasekaran, “We Won: Fallujah Rejoices in Withdrawal,” The Washington Post, 2 May 2004. back to article
    ”Marines Suspend Fallujah Offensive,” Marine Corps News, 13 April 2004. back to article
    Military Operations On Urban Terrain, Marine Corps Warfighting Publication (MCWP) 3-35.3 (Quantico, VA: April 1998), pp. 1-16. back to article
    MCWP 3-35.3, pp. 1-16, 1-17. back to article
    Kaplan, “Five Days in Fallujah,” p. 126. back to article
    MCWP 3-35.3, pp. 1-17 and 2-7.back to article
    Christian Lowe, “U.S. Israeli Armed Forces Trade Urban-Warfare Tips,” Marine Corps Times, 31 May 2002. It should be noted that Israeli battalions tend to be smaller than comparable Marine units, and most of the Israeli troops involved in the Jenin battle were reservists. back to article
    See www.globalsecurity.org. back to article
    Jackie Spinner and Karl Vick, “U.S. Forces Meet Fierce Resistance in Fallujah,” The Washington Post, 13 November 2004. back to article
    Jackie Spinner, “Artillerymen Clear Path for the Infantry,” The Washington Post, 11 November 2004; Associated Press, 8 November 2004.back to article
    Sameer N. Yacoub, “Foreign Fighters Arrested in Southern Iraq,” Associated Press, 25 November 2004; Dexter Filkins, “In Taking Falluja Mosque, Victory by the Inch,” The New York Times, 10 November 2004. back to article
    Jackie Spinner and Karl Vick, “Troops Battle for Last Parts of Fallujah,” The Washington Post, 14 November 2004. back to article
    E.g., Mackubin Thomas Owens, “Two, Three, Many Fallujahs,” The Weekly Standard, 6 December 2004; Jack Kelly, “U.S. Tactic, Training Kept Casualties Down in Fallujah” (citing author and retired Army LCol Ralph Peters), The Pittsburg Post-Gazette, 21 November 2004. back to article
    It is also nearly 50% of total U.S. casualties suffered in the initial campaign (OIF) between 19 March and 30 April 2003: according to DoD, 109 killed and 426 wounded and not returned to duty. back to article
    About 45% of U.S. forces wounded in Iraq are returned to duty and not evacuated. Karl Vick, “August: 1,100 Troops Wounded,” The Los Angeles Times, 5 September 2004; Spinner and Vick, “U.S. Forces Meet Fierce Resistance in Fallujah.” back to article

    Mr. Keiler, a former captain in the Army’s Judge-Advocate General Corps, retired from his law practice to teach history in the Prince Georges County, Maryland, school system.

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