The anschluss of Crimea and the illusion of soft power

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Re: The anschluss of Crimea and the illusion of soft power

Postby hamlet » Mon Apr 28, 2014 11:05 am

Minardil wrote:
Come now, Minardil. You know I'm a conservative. It would be powered by the souls of dead poor children and the crushed.hopes and dreams of their parents.


Dark Matter, Negative Energy, that's some pretty esoteric stuff, man.


I pride myself on being trendily scientifically literate. I went to the Hayden Planetarium and heard all about dark matter and dark energy from a dark man so my opinion is authoritative! :wink:


Portia: The construction of a new pipeline is not governed by governments but by businesses and, until such time as it is illegal to trade with Russia, it is more cost effective to purchase that energy from Russia politics be damned.
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Re: The anschluss of Crimea and the illusion of soft power

Postby portia » Mon Apr 28, 2014 5:47 pm

No businessperson is THAT isolated from politics.
If the stockholders and others that have input say "do not buld new pipelines into Russia," they either will not be built or not used, especially in Europe's more "supervised" economies.
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Re: The anschluss of Crimea and the illusion of soft power

Postby hamlet » Tue Apr 29, 2014 5:56 am

The pipeline into Russia exists.

A new pipeline to another location is likely to cost BILLIONS.

It is dramatically more cost effective, even if Sanctions were to become extremely tight, to simply wait out the current fraccas and take a loss for a couple years than to build a new pipeline to another producing country.

You're correct in that no bussiness is entirely divorced from politics, but no responsible bussinessman would advise his company to lay out billions for a new pipeline to alleviate a perceived short term loss that would not actually equal let alone exceed the mitigation cost when the real job of any bussinessman is to maximize company profit.
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Re: The anschluss of Crimea and the illusion of soft power

Postby portia » Tue Apr 29, 2014 8:53 am

That calculation takes in a lot of elements. I think different executives, with different energy sources--in different countries with different distances to ports-- would come up with a lot of different decisions.
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Re: The anschluss of Crimea and the illusion of soft power

Postby hamlet » Tue Apr 29, 2014 9:24 am

portia wrote:That calculation takes in a lot of elements. I think different executives, with different energy sources--in different countries with different distances to ports-- would come up with a lot of different decisions.


Except that the calculations have already been made. And the pipeline into Russia (or out of, actually) exists where it does because those calculations were so made.

It won't be until such time as those cold equations indicate that the cost of doing business with Russia exceeds the cost of building a new pipeline and cultivating other sources of fuel that such a change can be accomplished.

Essentially, this is a 30-50 year plan and does NOTHING to address the actual issue at hand.
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Re: The anschluss of Crimea and the illusion of soft power

Postby portia » Tue Apr 29, 2014 7:43 pm

That calculation was made with a "different" supplier involved. Now that Russia is showing a different set of characteristics, the calculation changes. Maybe not for everyone, but I will bet that countries with a good oil port are re-calculating right now. Others, with a difficult history with Russia might well be re-calculating, too. Others, with neither, might not be.
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Re: The anschluss of Crimea and the illusion of soft power

Postby hamlet » Wed Apr 30, 2014 8:25 am

That's the thing. Russia is, from a business standpoint, an excellent supplier. They're relatively inexpensive and reliable and the infrastructure already exists. The costs of doing continued business with them will have to be very steep before things are different enough to make such a huge change.
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Re: The anschluss of Crimea and the illusion of soft power

Postby Storyteller » Fri May 02, 2014 6:56 am

Ukraine crisis: Sloviansk rebels down army helicopters

Pro-Russian rebels have shot down two of Ukraine's army helicopters during an "anti-terror" operation in the eastern city of Sloviansk, Kiev has said.

It said a pilot and serviceman had been killed, four suspected separatists held and 10 rebel checkpoints seized.

Half of the city was later declared "under control" of the Ukrainian units.

There has been no independent confirmation of the claim. Separatists at three checkpoints earlier told the BBC they were still in control there.

Russia said the use of the army by Kiev against its own people was "leading Ukraine to catastrophe".

Describing the military operation as "punitive", the Russian foreign ministry also urged Western powers to give up their "destructive" policy on Ukraine.

Sloviansk is a stronghold for pro-Russian separatists who are exerting increasing control in the region.

The BBC's Fergal Keane, at a bridge outside Sloviansk where there is a stand-off between Ukrainian troops and pro-Russian locals, describes the atmosphere as tense and unpredictable.

In other developments:

Unknown attackers have seized a local railway control centre near Donetsk, disrupting train movement.

Moscow has reportedly re-established contact with Russian envoy Vladimir Lukin in eastern Ukraine, after saying earlier it had been unable to get in touch with him
Pro-Russian rebels have left the city council office and TV centre in the eastern Luhansk region.

Several Western journalists were detained in Sloviansk, but all are now believed to be free.

'Full combat alert'

Ukraine's anti-terror centre said in a statement that "half of the city" of Sloviansk was under control of its units at 12:00 local time (10:00 GMT).

It said pro-Russian gunmen were using snipers and also mobile units dressed in riot police uniforms.

Meanwhile, the commander of Ukraine's National Guard said his units "practically cleared Sloviansk from terrorists".

Earlier, Interior Minister Arsen Avakov said the "active phase" of the operation in the Sloviansk-Kramatorsk region began at 04:30 local time.

"A real battle with professional mercenaries is going on," Mr Avakov said, adding that the separatists were using the tactics of hiding behind civilians in residential buildings.

Russia's state-run Rossiya 24 TV channel said the city was being "stormed".

It quoted Sloviansk's rebel commander Igor Strelkov as saying that the city was completely sealed off.

The fighting appeared to be concentrating on the periphery of the city, says the BBC's Sarah Rainsford, who is in the regional capital Donetsk.

In a video posted on YouTube, Sloviansk's self-declared mayor Vyacheslav Ponomaryov said "our city is under attack".

He appealed to children, women and the elderly not to leave their homes.

Local residents were later quoted as saying that the situation in the city had calmed down but remained tense.

Monitors held

Ukraine's acting president has said his forces are "helpless" in some parts of the east, and the country is now on full combat alert amid fears that Russian troops could invade.

Some 40,000 Russian troops are stationed near the Ukrainian border.

Eastern Ukraine has a large Russian-speaking population. It was a stronghold for President Viktor Yanukovych before he was overthrown by pro-Western protesters in February.

Russia then annexed the Crimean peninsula - part of Ukraine but with a Russian-speaking majority - in a move that provoked international outrage.

The crisis has plunged East-West relations to their lowest point since the Cold War ended in the early 1990s.



Russia Could Build Arctic Supertankers in Crimea

MOSCOW, April 30 (RIA Novosti) – The Zalyv Shipyard in Crimea’s port of Kerch could soon be commissioned to construct Arctic supertankers, a spokesman for Russia's United Shipbuilding Corporation said Wednesday.

“Crimea has the only shipbuilding yard in Russia with a slab measured 300 meters in length and up to 50 meters in width. Such a slab allows building supertankers and gas carriers with a deadweight of over 150,000 tons,” Alexei Kravchenko said.

He added that smaller tankers would be less competitive as they would significantly increase the cost of transporting oil and gas.

The statement came on the heels of comments by Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, who said Tuesday that all defense industry plants in Crimea will be involved in the modernization of the Russian Black Sea fleet and the construction of Arctic vessels.

Currently, only shipyards in St. Petersburg and the Far East are receiving such orders, the spokesman said.

Arctic territories, believed to hold vast untapped oil and gas reserves, have increasingly been at the center of disputes between the United States, Russia, Canada, Norway and Denmark as rising temperatures lead to a reduction in sea ice.

Russia submitted a territorial claim for the Lomonosov Ridge, believed to hold vast hydrocarbon deposits, to the United Nations in 2001 but it was turned down over a lack of evidence. Norway, Canada, Denmark and the United States have also laid claims to the territory.

Russian Nature Resources Minister Sergei Donskoi told President Vladimir Putin in early April that a revised claim will be ready this fall.
"...Their aim in war with Germany is nothing more, nothing less than extermination of Hitlerism... There is absolutely no justification for this kind of war. The ideology of Hitlerism, just like any other ideological system, can be accepted or rejected, this is a matter of political views. But everyone grasps, that an ideology can not be exterminated by force, must not be finished off with a war.” - Vyacheslav Molotov, ""On the Foreign Policy of the Soviet Union", 31 October 1939
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Re: The anschluss of Crimea and the illusion of soft power

Postby Cenedril_Gildinaur » Fri May 02, 2014 7:32 am

hamlet wrote:
Minardil wrote:I totally agree that Putin is definitely scheming to restore some measure of Russia's former "greatness", and I agree that we don't necessarily want him to achieve that, but unless we are going to go to war with him AND REMOVE HIM FROM POWER or otherwise effect complete "regime change" and nation building in Russia, I don't see how going to war with him over Crimea actually HURTS him, domestically. I think it might even strengthen his hand, as it allows him to present himself to his own public as some sort of victim of American aggression (which I believe he is already doing anyway).


1) Warm Ports: I didn't say I agreed with that particular assessment, I was just pointing out.

2) I don't think I've anywhere said we should invade Russia and remove Putin from power. In fact, I distinctly remember saying that starting a shooting war right now would be a bad thing.

However, you ahve to recognize that there is a VAST gulf between "do nothing" which seems to be the consensus among some, and "shoot em all let God sort 'em out" which is what some people claim is the opposition's point of view. Obama's response, in my view, is simply not suitable. it's not enough to actually do anything other than look like empty, meaningless hand wringing with a token slap on the wrist. Not even a slap. Hell, we haven't even gone far enough to do the equivalent of taking away his snack money.


The measures typically taken by the US Government when the president wants to look like he doesn't want to go to war usually include funding subversives or rebels, drone bombing, and economic sanctions. Personally I consider two of those to be full fledged acts of war and the third to be treading the border of the definition. There is a problem with those three items in the "VAST gulf" when theoretically applied to Russia. For Russia isn't Yemen or Libya. Russia can respond to those acts by calling them acts of war and retaliating in kind. And for those who would say those are not acts of war if the US perpetrates them on other countries, imagine if Russia did do that to the US and tell me that it wouldn't be considered an act of war.

Other countries no doubt claimed it was an act of war when the US drone bombed or funded rebels. The problem for those other countries is whether to react to an act of war by declaring war and then losing, or just suck it up and press on leaving the US population oblivious to what the US is doing. Russia won't automatically lose if Putin responds the way Libya, Syria, and Yemen would. If you include economic sanctions, Russia can reply as well unlike Iran and Cuba.

Economic sanctions are an interesting case. The US has applied them to countries with small economies. Trade between the US and Cuba is a statistical blip from the perspective of the US, but has been very harsh from the perspective of Cuba. Trying this on Russia will impact the US even before Russia responds.

The "VAST gulf", sorry to say, can be a real step towards a real war. Especially if Russia responds in kind to whatever measures or sanctions the US implements and said responses are seen as aggression by the US population.
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Re: The anschluss of Crimea and the illusion of soft power

Postby portia » Fri May 02, 2014 9:52 am

Only if the "gulf" narrows.
I think most of our gvernment and certainly most of the people understand the difference between sanctions, rhetoric and a shooting war. Even the commentators who want more "action" keep referring to their expectation that Russia will move aganst NATO members. I can't decide whether that is merely a device for making the crisis more than it is. The "Gulf" would be a lot less wide if Russia decided to do that, but I expect that Putin is not that dumb.
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Re: The anschluss of Crimea and the illusion of soft power

Postby hamlet » Fri May 02, 2014 9:57 am

Who knows, Putin may actually want a shooting war. The thought of that sort of terrifies me.
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Re: The anschluss of Crimea and the illusion of soft power

Postby Cenedril_Gildinaur » Fri May 02, 2014 12:03 pm

Most of the world does recognize economic sanctions by the US as an act of war but suck it up because they can't do anything about it.

Putin might respond to economic sanctions with economic counter sanctions, and those economic counter sanctions will be seen here in the US as an act of war and seen as Putin wanting war.

Perhaps the terror should be a little closer to home.
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Re: The anschluss of Crimea and the illusion of soft power

Postby portia » Fri May 02, 2014 4:25 pm

NOBODY thinks of economic sanctions except the people to whom they are directed, and usually only the propaganda operatives of those people. If Russia wanted to use economic sanctions against the US, I think you would be the only one who would think of them as an act of war. Odd, how that phrase is sooooo elastic and is applied to anything the speaker doesn't like.
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Re: The anschluss of Crimea and the illusion of soft power

Postby Cenedril_Gildinaur » Fri May 02, 2014 5:16 pm

It's quite clear and obvious what it means, and it means something much more specific than "something the speaker doesn't like."

I'm pretty sure if Russia treated the US the way the US treats many of the countries around the world, you would see the herd bleating that it is an act of war, and you would join in bleating that it is an act of war.
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Re: The anschluss of Crimea and the illusion of soft power

Postby portia » Sun May 04, 2014 9:48 am

I know yiu have military experence and I cannot believe you are soooo confused as to think economic sanctions are an act of war. Nobody says that seriously.
Economic sanctins are merely the the give and take of trade and diplomacy. There is a difference, and the difference does not go unrecognized.
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Re: The anschluss of Crimea and the illusion of soft power

Postby Storyteller » Sun May 04, 2014 9:55 am

Economic sanctions can certainly constitute a valid casus belli.

The West, by and large, has forgotten the purpose of diplomacy. Diplomacy isn't something one uses in lieu of war, it's something one uses as a form of warfare.
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Re: The anschluss of Crimea and the illusion of soft power

Postby oldtoby » Sun May 04, 2014 10:47 am

Storyteller wrote:Economic sanctions can certainly constitute a valid casus belli.


well its valid to the one who is getting sanctioned at any rate. Of course the one Doing the sanctions never considers it so.
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Re: The anschluss of Crimea and the illusion of soft power

Postby portia » Sun May 04, 2014 11:02 am

I think the sanctions would have to be so extreme that the local economy is wrecked. There have been such cases, of course, but I tink the lesson learned from the reparations after the First World War would discourage it.
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Re: The anschluss of Crimea and the illusion of soft power

Postby Cenedril_Gildinaur » Mon May 05, 2014 5:31 pm

The United States has indeed levied sanctions against other countries to the point where the local economy was wrecked. The difference is, the leadership of this country is usually smart enough to not do this to countries that can do something about it. Iran and Cuba are unlikely to respond with force.

Diplomacy is used in lieu of war, and by that token economic sanctions aren't really diplomacy.
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Re: The anschluss of Crimea and the illusion of soft power

Postby portia » Sat May 10, 2014 7:33 am

Cenedril_Gildinaur wrote:Diplomacy is used in lieu of war, and by that token economic sanctions aren't really diplomacy.



I know it is futile to ask you to explan something, but that is a most amazing leap of logic and I would like to see it explained.
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Re: The anschluss of Crimea and the illusion of soft power

Postby Cenedril_Gildinaur » Sat May 10, 2014 9:24 am

portia wrote:
Cenedril_Gildinaur wrote:Diplomacy is used in lieu of war, and by that token economic sanctions aren't really diplomacy.


I know it is futile to ask you to explan something, but that is a most amazing leap of logic and I would like to see it explained.


Unlike you, I actually do elaborate upon request. I don't know why you're accusing me of acting like you.

Which part is causing you such confusion?

Could it be the phrase that diplomacy is used in lieu of war? That means "Since we are disagreeing, we can either talk it out or fight it out. Let's talk it out." THAT is what diplomacy is. War isn't diplomacy. War means that when confronted with "talk or fight" the leadership of at least one of the countries has discarded the option to talk. It is either war or diplomacy, war is not diplomacy and diplomacy is not war. It really is simple, but if you don't understand it I've learned to accept that from you.

Or is it that economic sanctions don't really count as diplomacy? Remember, diplomacy is "talk" while war is "fight", I hope you've understood that by now. So which category do economic sanctions fit in? Economic sanctions are a hostile act. You object to saying "act of war" to anything other than "troops are crossing the border and shooting people" but I hope this less severe term doesn't cause you to have heartburn.

Economic sanctions are designed to inflict damage on the country subject to those sanctions. Take a look at the hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children who died in the 1990s due to the economic sanctions that prevented the importation of medication. That was something that the incredibly evil Madeleine Albright said was worth it. I guess it was from her point of view, it wasn't her family impacted by the sanctions.

If those hundreds of thousands had been killed by bombs and bullets, even you would have a hard time refusing to call it an act of war. I think we can agree that killing hundreds of people is hostile, and a deliberate injury inflicted on one country by another.

Hostile acts that inflict injury on another are not in the "talk" category. That should also be so simple it wouldn't need any explanation, although for you I would understand that it does need explanation.

That leaves one question - why are you accusing me of adopting your habit of never elaborating?

Madeleine Albright says the death of 500,000 Iraqi children is worth it.
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Re: The anschluss of Crimea and the illusion of soft power

Postby portia » Sun May 11, 2014 9:37 am

You are being too simplistic.

War vs. Diplomacy s not such a Balck and White matter. As Cuba found out before the old soviet Union cllapsed, Economic sanction can be a benefit. If other nations do not go along, sanctions can be no more than a talking point. The spectrum of effects of sanctions is very broad. Further, if a country does wants to stop the sanctions, in most case that need only stop what the other country is objecting to. There is no physcial damage, economice recovery pretty quickly and the county that was subject to sanction can go about its business and may be improved. The only damage is usally to the leaders' pride and I am not sympathetic to that.

Ask anyone who has been in war whether there is a difference between a war and economic sanctions and you will get a MOST emphatic response.

If one country does not want to trade with another--for any reason, where is it written that they must trade, nevertheless? Committing physical violence is a very different thing?

I am ignoring the Madeline Albright quote as do not believe it is genuine.
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Re: The anschluss of Crimea and the illusion of soft power

Postby Cenedril_Gildinaur » Sun May 11, 2014 5:20 pm

portia wrote:You are being too simplistic.


You are being too ironic.

portia wrote:Ask anyone who has been in war whether there is a difference between a war and economic sanctions and you will get a MOST emphatic response.


Ask the parents of the children who died in Iraq during the 1990s if their children are alive.

portia wrote:If one country does not want to trade with another--for any reason, where is it written that they must trade, nevertheless?


Oh, so now it is the countries that trade, instead of companies and individuals trading?

portia wrote:Committing physical violence is a very different thing?


Forcibly restraining someone from eating is completely different from shooting them.

portia wrote:I am ignoring the Madeline Albright quote as do not believe it is genuine.


It's on YOUTUBE out of her own mouth. Of course you wouldn't believe it is genuine.
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Re: The anschluss of Crimea and the illusion of soft power

Postby Storyteller » Tue May 13, 2014 8:42 pm

Russia Retaliates Against U.S. Space Program in Response to Sanctions

Two weeks after warning the U.S. that sanctions on Russia's space industry would have a "boomerang" effect, Deputy Prime Ministry Dmitry Rogozin announced that Russia was rejecting a NASA proposal to extend cooperation on the International Space Station and would limit exports of its rocket engines to the U.S.

Rogozin said that Russia would not accept a NASA proposal to extend the life of the International Space Station, or ISS beyond 2020, “After 2020, we would like to divert these funds [used for ISS] to more promising space projects,” he said, Interfax reported on Tuesday.

For 20 years, the U.S. and Russia have quietly cooperated in space exploration. The ISS program, a $100 billion project involving 15 nations, has been the hallmark of these efforts, remaining above the fray of the political ups-and-downs of the larger U.S.-Russia bilateral relationship.

Even when an order was passed down the ranks of NASA personnel in April to cease all contact with Russian space officials — with the important exception of those activities required to maintain operations aboard ISS — civil space cooperation seemed to be unharmed. NASA administrator Charles Bolden quickly assured the space community that nothing had changed, and that work would continue unabated.

In an interview with Vedomosti later in April, Roscosmos chief Oleg Ostapenko backed up Bolden's assertion, saying that Roscosmos had not received any notifications from their NASA counterparts that cooperation was being suspended.

But it now appears that this privileged state of affairs is no more. Rogozin said that Russia was "seriously concerned" about continuing a relationship with an unreliable partner, such as the U.S., and that Roscosmos has been instructed "to intensify work with our partners in the Asia-Pacific region who are looking for interesting near-earth and deep-space projects."

Roscosmos chief Oleg Ostapenko also said in the Vedomosti interview that Moscow was pursuing closer cooperation with China — the latest player in space exploration.

In the meantime, Rogozin said that "we understand that the International Space Station is fragile in the literal and figurative sense," and would therefore "act very pragmatically and not put obstacles in the way of work on the ISS."

These developments comes at an awkward time, as the U.S is currently without its own vehicle for transporting astronauts to the space station, and must rely on the Russian Soyuz for rides. Both space agencies are currently preparing for the return of an ISS crew on Tuesday night, followed by the launch of their replacements on May 28.

The decision not to continue work on ISS past 2020 also raises questions concerning a new Russian addition to the space station — the Nauka science module, which was supposed to launch in 2007, but now is not going to be delivered until 2017.

This consideration places another one of Rogozin's statements, that the Russian portion of the space station was capable of functioning without the U.S. portion, in valuable context.

In addition to intergovernmental space cooperation aboard the ISS, Rogozin made a number of statements that have direct ramifications for U.S.-Russia commercial space cooperation — which has already been subject to the ongoing tit-for-tat sanctions battle between Washington and Moscow.

In a move that closely mirrors last month's U.S. State Department restriction of high-technology, dual-use exports to Russia that might be of assistance to the Russian military, Rogozin told reporters that Russia would limit the exports of its valuable rocket engines to the U.S.

Ostapenko on Tuesday clarified the terms of the Russian reprisal, saying that Russia was prepared to continue supplying the engines, "but on one condition, that they will not be used to launch military satellites."

One of the engines, the RD-180, is used to power the first stage of the Atlas V rocket — currently the only vehicle in the U.S. launch fleet certified to deliver U.S. national security payloads to orbit. United Launch Alliance, or ULA, the company that produces the Atlas V, currently has two years worth of the engines stockpiled domestically.


Rogozin also announced earlier that Russia could deactivate Russia-based GPS stations.
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Re: The anschluss of Crimea and the illusion of soft power

Postby portia » Wed May 14, 2014 7:07 am

I, personally, think that is a very positive event. I have been annoyed at the US for not moving ahead on its own space efforts, and instead relying on the Russians. If this speeds up our effots I will be happy.
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Re: The anschluss of Crimea and the illusion of soft power

Postby Storyteller » Mon Sep 28, 2015 12:19 am

So it's been a year plus.

The case of sanctions against Russia has proved to be a teachable moment. If anyone wants to know just how useless the "targeted sanctions" really are, and just how impotent the West has rendered itself by leaving said "targeted sanctions" as the only form of practical response to law-breaking actions by states, look no further than the case of Russia.

The sanctions against Russia do not ostensibly target the country itself but rather individuals, companies and officials seen as responsible for Russia's actions and / or being in a position of influence to change them. The sanctions cover less than two hundred individuals and 37 entities (state-owned banks, arms manufacturers and oil companies). The idea, ostensibly, is to create pressure on the government without making life worse for the Russian people and thereby alienating them. (Mustn't hurt the innocent people, must we?).

The logic of "targeted sanctions" is pretty hard to untangle. Sanctions which have no meaningful impact on Russian economy will not change its behavior; sanctions which impact the economy meaningfully will necessarily make the life of Russian people worse. Can't have it both ways. And if you try, the Russian government won't let you.

Russia responded with sanctions of their own - not ever-so-precisely targeted ones but sweeping bans on import of whole categories of products from any country which was party to sanctions, and declared a general strategy towards "import replacement" by way of domestic manufacture. The banned products included primarily food - fruit, meat, fish, dairy products - and the impact on the Russian people's cost of living was immediate and severe. A typical Western thinker would expect Putin to become quite unpopular with the people after a move like that, but the Russian people, aided in their non-thinking by state TV, mainly blame the Western sanctions rather than the shoot-your-own-foot Russian retaliation, and they're quite supportive of the "import replacement" strategy which caters to Russia's pride as a manufacturing power. The replacement, from what I know, is going poorly. The cheese being sold in Russian grocery stores instead of imported one is barely edible, and prices have gone way up. Meanwhile, the Russian government is discussing a ban on import of detergents, and the Russian honey production industry attempted to lobby a ban on foreign confectionary. Russia is also creating a "national system of payment cards" intended to displace Visa and Mastercard from the market and further "sanction-proof" the economy.

So the Russian economy is in deep recession, due to both the low price of oil and the impact of sanctions by and against Russia. The Ukraine war has pretty much run out of fuel as a rallying mechanism for the Russian state. Yet there is no great discontent among the Russian people, and Putin's next move? Military intervention in Syria. Russia, Iran, Syria and Hezbollah are forming a united front in the Syrian war to save Assad. Putin's hard power checkmates Obama's "smart power" yet again.
"...Their aim in war with Germany is nothing more, nothing less than extermination of Hitlerism... There is absolutely no justification for this kind of war. The ideology of Hitlerism, just like any other ideological system, can be accepted or rejected, this is a matter of political views. But everyone grasps, that an ideology can not be exterminated by force, must not be finished off with a war.” - Vyacheslav Molotov, ""On the Foreign Policy of the Soviet Union", 31 October 1939
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Re: The anschluss of Crimea and the illusion of soft power

Postby portia » Mon Sep 28, 2015 8:43 am

Do you honestly expect a real public reaction in a controlled political environment such as Russia's? I didn't think you were that naive.
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Re: The anschluss of Crimea and the illusion of soft power

Postby Storyteller » Mon Sep 28, 2015 9:31 am

portia wrote:Do you honestly expect a real public reaction in a controlled political environment such as Russia's? I didn't think you were that naive.

You're forgetting that I don't just watch TV. I talk to actual people from there, and not just me. Just the other day my Russian-speaking co-worker was telling me how it's become impossible for her to talk to her relatives back in Russia because every conversation turns to praise of Putin and bashing of Ukraine.
"...Their aim in war with Germany is nothing more, nothing less than extermination of Hitlerism... There is absolutely no justification for this kind of war. The ideology of Hitlerism, just like any other ideological system, can be accepted or rejected, this is a matter of political views. But everyone grasps, that an ideology can not be exterminated by force, must not be finished off with a war.” - Vyacheslav Molotov, ""On the Foreign Policy of the Soviet Union", 31 October 1939
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Re: The anschluss of Crimea and the illusion of soft power

Postby Frelga » Mon Sep 28, 2015 9:53 am

Yeah, I can't discuss politics with older family members because they watch Russian news channels and they defend Putin even though they are FROM Ukraine.

But sanctions against Russia were never going to do anything. Russian people are willing to endure, and their government is willing to inflict on them, much greater amounts of suffering than the Western world can imagine.

The bald fact is, we just can't do anything about Putin. Cold war is ineffective, and hot war is unwinnable.

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Re: The anschluss of Crimea and the illusion of soft power

Postby portia » Tue Sep 29, 2015 8:55 am

Storyteller wrote:
portia wrote:Do you honestly expect a real public reaction in a controlled political environment such as Russia's? I didn't think you were that naive.

You're forgetting that I don't just watch TV. I talk to actual people from there, and not just me. Just the other day my Russian-speaking co-worker was telling me how it's become impossible for her to talk to her relatives back in Russia because every conversation turns to praise of Putin and bashing of Ukraine.


My point, exactly.
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