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World & Current Events > First China, now Russia?

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message 1: by Nik (last edited Jan 20, 2020 04:37AM) (new)

Nik Krasno | 13503 comments Well, flirting with democracy might be over in the bigger chunks of the globe. After comrade Xi successfully implemented the constitutional reform, supposedly solidifying his grip over the biggest population on Earth https://www.nippon.com/en/in-depth/a0... , and while British prince waives titles, we might be witnessing the rise of a new dynasty in Russia with the onset of the constitutional reform: https://theconversation.com/russias-c...
But what's the big deal really: Thatcher and Merkel didn't turn UK & Germany totalitarian, so why should Putin or Xi be limited in time in serving their people? And wouldn't you want Trump or Obama doing a few more terms? What do you think?


message 2: by Papaphilly (new)

Papaphilly | 2743 comments I do not want any President serving more than two terms. George Washington set the precedent and it is good enough.

As for Putin and Xi, are their countries free or even doing well? As to your question, it is for the people of their respective countries to decide. I have no dog in the fight and will not set another nation how long their leader should serve.


message 3: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 9516 comments Are the countries doing well? That is a matter of opinion, but a better question is, are they doing better than before the current leaders took over, and I think the answer is yes, at least on many fronts.

Are they free? Define free? My daughter-in-law is Chinese and goes back several times, as does my son, and they appear to be able to do what they wish. Sure, neither country has elections where an opposition has a chance, but looking at some of the antics of Western countries, they may not be missing out on that much. I mean, a choice between Hillary or Trump? That such a great asset?

The big difference is in the West you do have the freedom to say what you like, and most importantly in a court case your lawyer knows he can walk free at the end. On the other hand, I am far from convinced that justice for people like Assange is that admirable, and what went on in Guantanamo is on par with some of the worst in those countries, and worse in some ways because it has gone on for so long.


message 4: by Papaphilly (new)

Papaphilly | 2743 comments Ian wrote: "Are they free? Define free?..I am far from convinced that justice for people like Assange is that admirable."

Are they free to criticize the respective governments without the fear of reprisal? Do they have freedom of the press?

Before I respond to justice for people like Assange, can you explain what you mean?


message 5: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 9516 comments I said, "The big difference is in the West you do have the freedom to say what you like". I thought it reasonable that people would infer you did not in those two countries. The comment about lawyers was because my daughter-in-law trained as a lawyer, and then discovered that the trials were not trials at all; the party had decided. (Which is why she left China and came here.) Here, you normally do have a fair trial, and the lawyer can present a case and a jury will decide. There are flaws, but this is a huge advantage. In China you have quite a lot of freedom, as long as you don't try to go against the party.

My comment about Assange is that the period of solitary confinement prior to the trial is reported to have weakened him so much he has little or no chance of mounting a proper defence, unless some legal team takes pity on him. If he is extradited, I believe his defence that he merely published what was given to him, and he is a publisher, will be rejected. He was never in the US (as far as I know) and I do not like the idea of US law applying anywhere outside the US that the powers that be decide.

The extradition moves against the Huawei executive are similar: even if Huawei traded with Iran, the dictates of the US should not apply. Especially since the Chinese Communist Party will have told her to. The EU have said they will trade with Iran but the US is not doing anything about those leaders; that the European countries will not is irrelevant to the Huawei case.


message 6: by Philip (new)

Philip (phenweb) Just a note on Assange - he does have a battery of lawyers defending the current extradition attempts. He is currently still on Remand in Belmarsh prison because he is a known flight risk even though his sentence for bail jumping has been completed. The case has now been split into two at the request of both parties and the judge has warned against any further delay.

Solitary confinement is incorrect. He is a remand prisoner so has extra privileges. If he feels under threat or the authorities believe he is at risk then single cell is likely. How much time is spent in the cell is down to the regime and staff availability. It is not unusual for some prisoners to be locked up for up to 23 hours a day. If the prisoner then chooses not to associate with other prisoners during time out of cell this is their choice. On remand prisoners cannot be forced to work or take part in other prison activities - this is not solitary confinement regardless of press and Assange claims. Re-his health, I have no personal knowledge. He has access to medical care the same as any prisoner but we know prison is not a healthy place. I refer you to Weinstein in terms of appearances in public but he may be genuinely ill.

On the court case from the reporting - I was not there but this is I believe accurate based on comments from people who were.

"The case will open as planned at Woolwich Crown Court on February 24 but will adjourn after one week and continue with a three-week hearing scheduled to begin on May 18. A lawyer for the US government described the split as "sensible" and "necessary", and Assange's team agreed, saying more time was needed before their case would be ready.

Assange is awaiting the outcome of an extradition request by the US, where he faces 18 charges, including of conspiring to commit computer intrusion."


message 7: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 9516 comments The news media that I have seen report solitary confinement; I obviously have no means of knowing one way or the other. If he is in a single cell and he comes out for one hour when the others are doing something else, it may seem like solitary to him. Mind you, I think he would be better off solitary. I guess we shall see about the health when the court case happens.

As for the flight risk, going to an embassy for refuge was somewhat silly; if he was going to flee, he needed to organise himself better than that.


message 8: by Papaphilly (last edited Jan 24, 2020 05:03AM) (new)

Papaphilly | 2743 comments Ian wrote: "I said, "The big difference is in the West you do have the freedom to say what you like". I thought it reasonable that people would infer you did not in those two countries. The comment about lawye..."

I inferred properly. You asked what I defined as free and I responded with two questions. Obviously I could have stated it. That is my fault. Yet you make my point for me about the court system in China. It is not a free society. just the idea of the great fire wall proves everything. They censor.

As for Assange, I asked because he is a polarizing character. I have noticed depending on whom you talk, it can mean everything from letting him go to the death penalty. I did not want to comment until I understood what you meant from your perspective.

I am not comfortable with what he did. It caused the deaths of operators for America due to their names being published. That will reverberate when we try to recruit others in the future. Yet, I am not so sure what he did is criminal with publishing the papers. It reminds me of the Pentagon Papers. I see this as a freedom of the press issue as well as a national security issue. I am no expert and it has to play itself out in American courts, which of course he has done everything to avoid. He is certainly a flight risk because he has already fled. I am not sure what he has been charged with in totality and maybe he did break American law, or not. I suspect that many news agencies will back him claiming he is a journalist.

As for American law's reach. American citizen's are under jurisdiction everywhere we go. So if you go to a foreign country and have sex with a child, it might be legal there, but you can still be charged here because it is illegal in the United States. Likewise if a foreign national has sex with an American child overseas, that person may be charged in America because it is illegal here and it happened to a United State citizen, who is under American jurisdiction. That is why we have extradition.

As for Huawei, I am not familiar enough to give an opinion other than she was arrested and charged. As i say in all these matters, let it run its course.


message 9: by Philip (new)

Philip (phenweb) Ian wrote: "The news media that I have seen report solitary confinement; I obviously have no means of knowing one way or the other. If he is in a single cell and he comes out for one hour when the others are d..."

We may need a better definition of solitary he has

Guards
Medical
Legal
Escorts
Numerous court appearances
Cell let outs
If he is at risk medically or from self harm additional checks are in place
He also has to eat and shower which requires leaving cell.

He is hardly alone


message 10: by Papaphilly (last edited Jan 24, 2020 07:52AM) (new)

Papaphilly | 2743 comments If he is in solitary, even with what you listed, it is not lots of contact. He would have no contact with other prisoners just to have a conversation. It is one thing if it is for his protection, but if it is for punitive measures to teach him a lesson on his charges.... Does he have access to reading material or a television or even human contact. Being locked down 23 hours a day is no walk in the park.


message 11: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 13503 comments Ian wrote: "The big difference is in the West you do have the freedom to say what you like..."

Sampling both West & East, I'd choose freedoms any day, but I imagine there will be others making a different choice. It felt even like atmospheric pressure was different without freedom -:) Yet, the West is hardly ideal, nor the East is totally inferior. Both places have lots of room for improvement! And if to look for a better balance, Scandinavian countries seem to be closer to it.


message 12: by Philip (new)

Philip (phenweb) Papaphilly wrote: "If he is in solitary, even with what you listed, it is not lots of contact. He would have no contact with other prisoners just to have a conversation. It is one thing if it is for his protection, b..."

He has books, and dependent on cell access to in-cell tech which includes TV, radio and other services including monitored phones


message 13: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 9516 comments I never claimed China is a free society; merely that it is not the tyranny some make it out to be. I experienced the same in Brezhnev's USSR - there were lines in the sand and as long as you kept to your side of them, you were OK, and I gather that many in Russia now are happier than then (although we don't hear from the poor, so that may not be fair).

The Assange case is retribution for daring to publish stuff the US did not wish to see published. The argument about US citizens abroad being held to US law is irrelevant - Assange is, I believe, an Australian and as far as I know, has never been int he US other than maybe as a tourist or passing through. As for leading to the deaths of US operatives, I have heard no details, nor any evidence that can assign blame to Assange. If, for example, someone was captured in Russia, just maybe the FSB is not entirely useless. I guess we should wait for evidence, but my betting is we won't hear any because if Assange gets to the US, it will be closed hearings "to protect national security". True, we have to wait and see, but I were Assange, I would be very frightened because the chance of getting a retributive trial is very high.

Another point, of course, is that keeping someone in a solitary cell 23 hrs a day when he is not actually guilty of anything except being frightened of being sent to the US for what will not be a fair trial from his pint of view, and his going on for the years it takes to complete extradition proceedings, seems excessive to me. I guess it is the price for an incompetent effort at fleeing.


message 14: by Papaphilly (new)

Papaphilly | 2743 comments Ian wrote: "The argument about US citizens abroad being held to US law is irrelevant - Assange is, I believe, an Australian and as far as I know, has never been int he US other than maybe as a tourist or passing through...."

It is not irrelevant. If he broke U.S. law and can be extradited to the U.S., he will be tried. Let us assume a few things just for argument. Just assume that there were operatives killed as was reported here in the U.S. Assume that it was from the publishing of the material. He can be held to account for causing deaths from publishing materials directly related to the material and harming U.S. intelligence and national interests. The fact he is not American is irrelevant because he published stolen American material and it led to deaths, which is a harm to the United States.

I am personally not so sure it is slam dunk for conviction because there are plenty of issues that need to be addressed including first Amendment issues that would protect journalists. He is going to be brought to the United States at some point and tried. As I said before, this does remind me of the Pentagon Papers.


message 15: by Papaphilly (new)

Papaphilly | 2743 comments Philip wrote: "Papaphilly wrote: "If he is in solitary, even with what you listed, it is not lots of contact. He would have no contact with other prisoners just to have a conversation. It is one thing if it is fo..."

He is being held in England, so I have no idea how they seclude various prisoners or what they consider solitary. I am not sure if he is being held in England on charges or because the United States has a warrant. The two countries do have an extradition treaty.


message 16: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 9516 comments So what we have is that a non-American citizen publishes material in Europe that was handed to him by someone else is a crime against US law? That means the US considers itself a super-legal authority, and its laws takes precedence over anybody else's.

The publishing of material causes deaths of US operatives? First, when did the US know about this? Did they not know information had been stolen? If so, they are responsible for the deaths because they had advance warning. Did they learn about it from Assange's publication? If so, they had equal time to warn their operatives, and we have to assume the US did not keep information lying around that would give the FSB, say, exact location and identification, so they still have a start. If they were stupid enough to keep exact information lying around where anyone could pick it up, then they are responsible. Of course we still have no names of such operatives.

You will have to forgive me for being skeptical, but when Trump and Pompeo state that Soleimani was planning the deaths of Americans n Embassies, and when pressed it comes down to Trump prevaricating and saying he could have been, I take these assertions without evidence with more than a grain of salt.


message 17: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 13503 comments Ian, if you prefer, Soleimani had enough record to deserve his fate. Nothing else needed.
And what can I tell - the situ became so much calmer and tensions miraculously defused! America is America again and Iran reduced to its real proportions. The world we can recognize :)


message 18: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 9516 comments This evening, I heard on TV a US Congressman state that Soleimani was a terrorist because we declared him a terrorist and therefore we were justified in assassinating him. That statement really disturbs me.

I am far from convinced the situation is defused. Certainly, the immediate one is and I am convinced Iran does not want an all-out war with the US. The problem is, it does not want the economic sanctions, nor can it accept the price of abandoning various Shiite groups. Accordingly, we are left with a mess. I think it is far too early to try to guess how this will work out, and I rather think Iran will try to hold off anything significant if it can until after November.


message 19: by Philip (new)

Philip (phenweb) Papaphilly wrote: "Philip wrote: "Papaphilly wrote: "If he is in solitary, even with what you listed, it is not lots of contact. He would have no contact with other prisoners just to have a conversation. It is one th..."

Hi

Well I am in UK and have direct experience of the legal system, courts and prisons involved. I am not writing or commentating on behalf of my employers.

Assange was arrested on the conditions of a European arrest warrant issued for rape allegations in Sweden. Bail was authorised whilst the arrest warrant and Assange's claims were due to be argued in court. The rules in the EU on European Arrest Warrants are hard to prevent extradition. He jumped bail forfeiting his backers money by seeking refuge in the Ecuadorian Embassy.
Skip years
When the Ecuadorians refused further refuge he was arrested by UK police for Bail jumping. Then he was convicted and sentenced to prison for that offence. Therefore he is now a convicted criminal for that offence and alleged to have committed other offences. Prior to that conviction Sweden reiterated the arrest warrant (since dropped). The US having denied for years that they sought his extradition issued extradition requests under the UK/US Treaty.

During his sentence for bail jumping and since, he has appeared several times physically in court to hear the legal arguments. These are preceding the main extradition hearings which have now been split into two groups of charges issued by the US authorities. The number of extradition possible charges has grown in the intervening period i.e. the book is being thrown at him.

As he has not been tried on any of the evidence he remains, as do all defendants regardless of their record, innocent until proven guilty. He has been remanded in Belmarsh Prison because he is by conviction a bail flight risk.

The extradition charges are serious and would normally warrant such an outcome. Under the US/UK treaty the evidence of the charges is not material; however, he is claiming that the charges lack merit and that he will not get a fair trial. The treaty and process is not supposed to examine the evidential quality.

He has been appearing at Westminster Magistrates' Court because that is where UK extradition hearings are held

I contrast his treatment with that of a US Woman who admitted driving on the wrong side of the road in UK and killing a motorcyclist who two weeks after after the event claimed diplomatic immunity and went to US. Pompeo has just ruled out her extradition

None of this has anything to do with topic of the thread but I seem to have lost the Assange thread so apologies to those who are on topic.


message 20: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 9516 comments Philip has given a good account of what has happened here, and I apologize for leading the discussion off-topic. My original point was that it is arguable that western justice is not totally ideal either, and the attitude of certain US authorities on this matter leads to my continuing to think this. Consider, for example, that this actually went to a jury in the US and they acquitted him on the basis he was a journalist, would that acquittal compensate for what has happened so far?

Getting back on topic and the merits of democracy, within three days of being informed of this new coronavirus, Beijing has locked down a number of cities and is preventing people's movement. Apparently, violate this order and there is an automatic 7 years in prison. Additionally, because the main hospital in WuHan is swamped, they intend to try to build a new hospital in a week, on a greenfield site. They have already demolished whatever was there and have an interesting number of diggers, etc, laying foundations. I know that most prefer to retain democracy, but could they react to a crisis like that?


message 21: by Papaphilly (new)

Papaphilly | 2743 comments Ian wrote: "Consider, for example, that this actually went to a jury in the US and they acquitted him on the basis he was a journalist, would that acquittal compensate for what has happened so far? ..."

That is a great question. You keep forgetting he has already committed a crime, so this is not in a vacuum. However, to answer a fair question, no to him, if everything is that he did nothing else. Yet, the process is still the process and he is not better than anyone else. Remember, he already jumped bail. What would you have them do? Release him so he can jump again?


message 22: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 9516 comments I would have them get on with the key question: is it a crime for a journalist to expose what are recognised as war crimes by others? No nation chases its own for war crimes, and the US seems to go out of its way to protect its own against such charges.

So the question then is, is a war crime a crime of worth? Is exposing it a crime or an act of merit? If the first, then war crimes are merely petty revenge acts of victors who do not want to admit they do exactly the same. If the second, then Assange has not committed more than a technical crime in order to show the rot. If the second, the chances of getting a fair trial depend on a non-prejudicial and what do you honestly think the chances of his getting that are? Do you really think the US powers that be will give him a non-prejudiced jury trial? How many people in this discussion have even said he has not really committed a crime by exposing war crimes? And that does not even include the journalist defence.


message 23: by Papaphilly (new)

Papaphilly | 2743 comments Ian wrote: "I know that most prefer to retain democracy, but could they react to a crisis like that? ..."

Build a hospital that fast? No. Set up a field hospital that fast? Absolutely.


message 24: by Papaphilly (new)

Papaphilly | 2743 comments Ian wrote: "Do you really think the US powers that be will give him a non-prejudiced jury trial? ..."

Yes I do. At some point, he gets to the United States. He will have some very powerful people backing him and there will be plenty of news watching. As I said earlier, I am not sure he will lose.


message 25: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 9516 comments During the Sars crisis, they built a new hospital in Beijing in 7 days. OK, 6 days they are going for a record and they may not reach it, but they have a target. Unfortunately videos are hard to come by because the Chinese have them in different formats, but see
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RGp_q...

My daughter-in-law gets Chinese videos and their construction videos are far more impressive.


message 26: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 13503 comments What a surprise?! or maybe everything goes as planned for Putin:
https://nypost.com/2020/03/11/kremlin...
That's what I call "Tsar" :)


message 27: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 9516 comments You have to admit, though, his approach is a little original.


message 28: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 13503 comments In staging, acting and producing? Agree, somewhere btw Spielberg & Coppola :)


message 29: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 13503 comments Ok, I guess we can welcome the temporary reinstatement of monarchy in Russia. The constitutional reform, allegedly broadly supported by the people, "annulled" Putin's term of service, so he's admissible for two more terms, i.e. until 2036. However, anyone else is, of course, supposed to be limited to two terms in total and no more. So neatly done, no sleight of hand whatsoever


message 30: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 9516 comments If Putin's term is anulled, and the mnext election is a few years away, is he no longer in charge? No need to answer that rhetorical question :-)


message 31: by Papaphilly (new)

Papaphilly | 2743 comments Nik wrote: "Ok, I guess we can welcome the temporary reinstatement of monarchy in Russia. The constitutional reform, allegedly broadly supported by the people, "annulled" Putin's term of service, so he's admis..."

This of course is lots closer to you than me, but in all fairness, the Russian people did vote for the change as is their right.


message 32: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 13503 comments Papaphilly wrote: "This of course is lots closer to you than me, but in all fairness, the Russian people did vote for the change as is their right..."

Probably - true, although censorship and firm grip over the media plus the intimidation of opposition put a big question mark about "free will" or "informed consent", as Graeme raised on another thread..


message 33: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 9516 comments Another possibility is fear of what would happen if Putin went. Since there is no recognizable opposition, they could get another Yeltsin and tank the economy really badly this time. Whatever Russia needs, a major sell-off of the economy to another bunch of oligarchs isn't it.


message 34: by Nik (last edited Jul 05, 2020 03:06AM) (new)

Nik Krasno | 13503 comments Ian wrote: "Another possibility is fear of what would happen if Putin went. ..."

This too, maybe less in the context of the sellout more fearing further fragmentation of the country in the result of a power struggle. Although many centuries passed since, the belief that the Kievan Rus divided into rivaling principalities represented a much easier prey for the Golden Horde is still alive as well as the belief that "new princes" may rise and not think twice to satisfy their super-ego. Thus Putin is a default unifying figure, unchangeable in the meantime


message 35: by Scout (new)

Scout (goodreadscomscout) | 5349 comments What do you think about Putin? Is he a threat to the U.S.? I read that Trump has been tough on Russia. I saw a press conference he held with the head guy in Poland, and Trump was happy that Poland wasn't buying Russian oil; unhappy that Germany is. What do you think about Trump and Russia at this point?


message 36: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 9516 comments Russia has a powerful military but it is solely oriented to protecting mother Russia. It is true that Putin engaged in a bit of Syrian adventurism but that was as much as anything to stop al Qaeda or whatever it has morphed into from getting to be troublesome in the Caucasus. Russia just hasn't got the heft to be engaging in foreign adventures as the US does. Its military expenditure is less than 10% of that of the US.

As for oil sales, Russia will sell to anyone who wants to buy, although oil sales are not the way to great wealth now. In my view Putin is no threat to the US. The US is a threat to Putin, and it would love to have Russia fragment into a number of self-defeating fragments.


message 37: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 13503 comments Scout wrote: "What do you think about Putin? Is he a threat to the U.S.? I read that Trump has been tough on Russia. I saw a press conference he held with the head guy in Poland, and Trump was happy that Poland wasn't buying Russian oil; unhappy that Germany is. What do you think about Trump and Russia at this point?..."

Some say that Trump is "soft" on Putin, advocating reinstatement of Russia in G-7 and praising Putin on account of US own intelligence after Helsinki meeting. Were it not for lasting conspiracy accusations, that volens nolens make it much harder to thaw the relations, the relations could be (or are behind the curtains) much warmer.
There are no territorial and now much of the ideological disputes btw the two countries, therefore the contradictions are less existential and more regional or ad hoc: towards Syria, Iran and bunch of former USSR republics, which Russia views as its backyard.


message 38: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 13503 comments Ian wrote: "The US is a threat to Putin, and it would love to have Russia fragment into a number of self-defeating fragments...."

This maybe, but what Putin and his propaganda view as NATO's threat needs to be carefully examined. It's not that NATO insisted Czech, Baltic states or Poland join NATO, it's these countries begged NATO to become members and enjoy its protection (although I'm not sure how viable, if ever challenged, it really is - would the US intervene on behalf of Latvia for example, or France or UK?). Likewise Georgia and Ukraine and others feel much safer with NATO than with their usual "patron". Russia offers lots of perks for "closer ties", economic and/or defense alliances, but you don't see countries running into its embrace fearing to be swallowed. Even the "last European dictator" of Belarus


message 39: by Papaphilly (new)

Papaphilly | 2743 comments Russia is nothing more than a regional power. It may saber rattle, but it has no chance against NATO. It is not only the United States, but Great Britain, France and Germany are also members. Putin has a bad hand and has to play it well. If I understand properly, he is very popular at home. he plays the cards the west is out to get Russia and the Russian public eats it up.


message 40: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 13503 comments Don’t know, Papaphilly. Syria is supposedly beyond Russia’s region. How do you compare to know odds of Russia vs NATO? It’s not exactly a military strength, but something to take into account as an important factor - Russia is much less sensitive to casualties than the West


message 41: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 13503 comments Maybe even worth to have a separate thread on comparing NATO vs Russia vs China. Could be fun discussing and I hope we won’t ever know the answer :)


message 42: by Papaphilly (new)

Papaphilly | 2743 comments There is already an answer.


message 43: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 13503 comments Is there? What is it then? And if you say definitely - NATO, basing on what?


message 44: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 9516 comments Nik, why don't you start such a thread?


message 45: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 13503 comments Not very comfy to open threads, using a cellphone, but I’ll try to


message 46: by Papaphilly (new)

Papaphilly | 2743 comments Nik wrote: "Is there? What is it then? And if you say definitely - NATO, basing on what?"

There is an author, George Friedman, he can explain why much better than I can. He is a geopolitical speaker. I suggest you look at his work and he will explain it very well. For the short answer, it is NATO, but because of the United States. Neither China nor Russia can hold a candle to United States military, let alone a combined NATO. Russia has a falling population and a withered military. They have only one warm water port outside of mother Russia and that is in Syria. They are no longer a Super Power, but a regional power.

China has no navy to speak of and their population demographics are working against them fast. Due to the one child policy, they are aging out as a power within about 25 years. They also have other issues internally. Their army is not really an army like ours, but more of an internal national police force.

They both project strength, but they are more of a paper tiger.


message 47: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 13503 comments Papaphilly wrote: "There is an author, George Friedman, he can explain why much better than I can. He is a geopolitical speaker...."

Cool, sent him a friend request


message 48: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 9516 comments It is true that no country can match the US military in terms of technology and the US will not be invaded successfully in the foreseeable future. That leaves the question, why does the US spend so much on its military? What is it going to do with this military?

However, it is unlikely that the US could win a non-nuclear war with Russia because Russia is so big and the US army is numerically small in comparison. The US could drive around and destroy what it liked, but there would be a continual large use of body bags. It would not be a free shot. Accordingly, there would be a big temptation to use tactical nukes.

In a nuclear exchange, Russia could turn every major city in the US into a 1 km deep crater. I do not believe the US has any defence to the hypersonic cruise missiles either. The price to Russia would be huge, but if anyone survived on both sides, Russia would come out better because it is less dependent on technology, i.e. the less advanced wins when thrown backwards. An ugly scenario


message 49: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 13503 comments Ian wrote: ".... That leaves the question, why does the US spend so much on its military?..."

If you want my guess, because - it might be because it's thoroughly overcharged, maybe similarly to the American public by the pharma


message 50: by Papaphilly (new)

Papaphilly | 2743 comments It would not have to be a nuclear exchange nor an invasion. The U.S. along with its submarine fleet alone could choke off shipping. Why do you think the Chinese keep pushing the south China Sea? It is the mouth to China and they could be bottled up easily. Russia has its own warm water port problems. If I have my geography correct, The only warm water port in Mother Russia not in the Black Sea is Vladivostok. The Black Sea can be blocked in either the Bosporus or Dardanelles. Russia can be choked off. Sea shipping cannot be underestimated in importance.


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