War in Georgia

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Re: War in Georgia

Postby piqaboo » Thu Aug 14, 2008 11:55 am

There was a detailed description of the process in a terrible submarine novel OT and I read some time ago. Cant recall the name of the novel,and we binned it.

FWIW, Empress Maria Theresa of Austria codified torture practices in her empire, including providing how to manuals.
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Re: War in Georgia

Postby Haggis@wk » Sun Aug 17, 2008 11:59 am

During much of the Cold War The Russian military had a reputation for strength and efficiency that far exceeded reality. That reputation was ironically fueled by puff pieces by Leftist media as well as the Generals in the Pentagon.

The Leftist media was already convinced that the Soviets had won the war and the Generals thought that was the way to keep getting more and more money for more and more weapons.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union we saw then that the truth of the Soviet military might had been so blown out of context that it was quite conceivable that the West could have met the Soviets on a non-nuclear battlefield and won; an unimaginable concept for most the Cold War era.

Fast forward to Georgia in 2008. Putin has played his hole card by throwing the Russian “might” at a country whose military is weaker than the Rhode Island National Guard and we’ve learned that hole card was the…..three of diamonds. This invasion has probably eaten deeply into Russian operations and maintenance funding, to say nothing of its war reserve stockpiles of ordnance and equipment. Russia must have bet on a short and fairly bloodless war, because it cannot afford—militarily or politically—a protracted slog. Not only doesn’t it have the equipment to do so, but also it doesn’t have enough highly trained troops to sustain heavy casualties. There are already reports that the Russian military is calling up retirees to fly transports since it doesn't have enought men to meet the needs.

The Russian military consists of a small, diamond-hard point on the end of a wooden stick. If the point shatters or wears down, you are left fighting the stick. (It should be noted that Ralph Peters, writing in the New York Post, has been scathing in his assessment of the Russian army’s performance in Georgia, so by Western standards even the best of the Russian army would be considered rather mediocre).

The question is how to wear it down. The Georgians have claimed to shot down 10 or more Russian front line aircraft using Russian anti-aircraft technology, mostly old but some newer weapons such as the MANPAD SA-18 and the SA-11.

This affair has shown that despite Putin’s recent saber rattling other than its nukes (not insignificant by any means), there’s little more in the holder than a penknife. And the only countries that have cause for alarm are those nearest Russian with smaller armies and no nuclear weapons.
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Re: War in Georgia

Postby Haggis@wk » Sun Aug 17, 2008 2:27 pm

More details on the fighting from STRATEGYPAGE:

Russian troops beat the Georgians on the ground, not so much because of superior numbers, but because the Russians had more troops with combat experience, and very recent experience in fighting this kind of war. The Russians got this way by fighting a successful campaign just across the border, in Chechnya. . . .

The Georgians did better in the air and at sea, even though they were greatly outnumbered there as well. Georgian warplanes shot up the Russians pretty badly (killing the commander of Russian ground forces, for example) before the Russians were able to shut down the Georgian air force. But in the process Russia lost at least four aircraft destroyed, and a number of others badly damaged.

At sea, Georgian missile boats hit several Russian warships, which had not been equipped with equipment, or crews, that were capable of dealing with this kind of threat. Two Russian warships were damaged sufficiently that they had to withdraw from the area. Within a few days, however, Georgia's miniscule navy and air force were destroyed, largely by the much larger Russian air force.

The Russians ran a large scale Information War campaign, shutting down Georgian access to the Internet for several days, and blanketing the world media, and Internet, with Russian spin on what was going on in Georgia and why.
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Re: War in Georgia

Postby dai bread » Sun Aug 17, 2008 5:46 pm

I am reminded of a comment from Peter Ustinov in a documentary he fronted about Russia. Talking of the growth of its empire, said "the Bear leans his weight against the wall, and when it falls down, he rebuilds it a little further from home".

I wonder too, what possessed the Georgian president, Mikheil Saakashvili, to send troops into an enclave that was pro-Russian, and shared a border with that country. Did he really expect NATO to come to the rescue? Another European expecting Americans to do his fighting for him?
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Re: War in Georgia

Postby OperaTenor » Mon Aug 18, 2008 12:14 am

Haggis@wk wrote:During much of the Cold War The Russian military had a reputation for strength and efficiency that far exceeded reality. That reputation was ironically fueled by puff pieces by Leftist media as well as the Generals in the Pentagon.

The Leftist media was already convinced that the Soviets had won the war and the Generals thought that was the way to keep getting more and more money for more and more weapons.


I think this calls for some citations, please.

I think you're missing the mark here. I do believe most of our official estimates were based on our intelligence gathering, not by reading the NYT.
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Re: War in Georgia

Postby dai bread » Tue Aug 19, 2008 12:08 am

OperaTenor wrote:I think you're missing the mark here. I do believe most of our official estimates were based on our intelligence gathering, not by reading the NYT.


O.T., you really have left yourself wide open here. WMD, anyone?
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Re: War in Georgia

Postby OperaTenor » Tue Aug 19, 2008 12:13 am

dai bread wrote:
OperaTenor wrote:I think you're missing the mark here. I do believe most of our official estimates were based on our intelligence gathering, not by reading the NYT.


O.T., you really have left yourself wide open here. WMD, anyone?


No, DB, that's exactly what I'm counting on.

;)
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Re: War in Georgia

Postby Haggis@wk » Tue Aug 19, 2008 12:04 pm

OperaTenor wrote:I think this calls for some citations, please.



In Denial: Historians, Communism and Espionage, by John Earl Haynes and Harvey Klehr

In 1983 the Indiana University historian Robert F. Byrnes collected essays from 35 experts on the Soviet Union -- the cream of American academia -- in a book titled After Brezhnev.

Their conclusion: Any U.S. thought of winning the Cold War was a pipe dream.

"The Soviet Union is going to remain a stable state, with a very stable, conservative, immobile government," Byrnes said in an interview, summing up the book. "We don't see any collapse or weakening of the Soviet system."

Six years later, the Soviet empire began falling apart. By 1991 it had vanished from the face of the earth.


Strobe Talbott decreed in 1982 that it was "wishful thinking to predict that international Communism some day will either self-destruct or so exhaust itself in internecine conflict that other nations will no longer be threatened." Talbott became Bill Clinton's deputy secretary of state, where he could apply his foreign policy perceptual powers to Osama bin Laden.

For decades beginning in the 30's the New York Times' Walter Duranty wrote favorably about Communism from the Soviet state, where he reported falsely that collectivized farming produced sufficient food, not famine.
It took decades for the Times to admit that the Pulitzer Prize-winning reporting of its Stalin-era Moscow bureau chief, Walter Duranty, was delusionary drivel. Even so, his Pulitzer stands.

At the outset of the Cuban Revolution the NYT described the early Fidel Castro as merely an "agrarian reformer".

Regarding the Communists in Vietnam, the Times abandoned its initial support for the non-communists after the antiwar Left took over the Democratic Party.

The Times was soon promoting Leftists like Susan Sontag for supporting the Communists.

Just before the Communist Khmer Rouge took over Cambodia, Times correspondent Sidney Schanberg forecasted better lives for the Cambodians under the Communist Khmer Rouge. Millions of Cambodians suffered a bloodbath of death, portrayed in the movie Killing Fields featuring Schanberg.

Three Centuries of American Declinism

* Writing just a few years ahead of Kennedy, Richard Barnet declared that the American Century had "lasted about 26 years." He mocked the Reagan administration for promising to reverse "the stunning decline of American power that marked the 1970s, " for "alarming millions in the United States and Europe," and, finally, for retreating from its hard line with Moscow.

* In 1988, Flora Lewis sighed that "Talk of U.S. decline is real in the sense that the U.S. can no longer pull all the levers of command or pay all the bills."

* Even in trying to deflect the declinists, James Schlesinger conceded in 1988 that the U.S. was "no longer economically the preponderant power . . . no longer militarily the dominant power . . . no longer can achieve more or less whatever it desires."

* "The signs of decline are evident to those who care to see them," declared Peter Passell in 1990, noting that the U.S. had lost its competitive edge and was losing its battle with the Japanese juggernaut.

* "Europeans and Asians," wrote Anthony Lewis in 1990, "are already finding confirmation of their suspicion that the United States is in decline."

* Citing America's dependence on foreign sources for energy and "crucial weaknesses" in the military, Tom Wicker concluded "that maintaining superpower status is becoming more difficult -- nearly impossible -- for the United States."


Tom Wicker, "The Super Concept," New York Times (November 25, 1990); Lewis, "When You Believe in Lies," New York Times (October 8, 1990); Passell, "America's Position in the Economic Race: What the Numbers Show and Conceal," New York Times (March 4, 1990); Flora Lewis, "Hard Talk Is Needed," New York Times (August 28, 1988); "Schlesinger, "Debunking the Myth of Decline," New York Times (June 19, 1988); Barnet, "The Decline of American Sway," New York Times (July 18, 1982).


And the Left is still getting a pass from the media. The now unclassified files from Venona and KGB files identified hundreds of American members of the communist Party of the USA as spies actively passing secrets to the Soviet Union. Hundreds of CPUSA members had infiltrated the American government and were passing information to the KGB. They honeycombed the State Department and the Office of Strategic Services. Virtually all of the Cold War's Left's martyrs really were spilling secrets to the Kremlin, including Alger Hiss, the Rosenbergs, and a pair of Roosevelt aides, Harry Dexter White and Laurence Duggan.

To put this into perspective, if recently unclassified documents from England revealed that hundreds of members of the Lincoln administration were spies for England or France, the coverage would be enormous.

Hundreds of America’s elite Left were traitors, spying for the Soviets? Yawn.
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Re: War in Georgia

Postby OperaTenor » Tue Aug 19, 2008 12:26 pm

Haggis, that still doesn't prove your point. I didn't make deployments to go sniffing around the east coast of the Soviet Union because of anything Susan Sontag said.

Our intelligence community was just as surprised by the rapid disintegration of the USSR as anyone else. Case in point: SSN-21. If we had expected the breakup, that sub never would have gone into production.
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Re: War in Georgia

Postby Haggis@wk » Tue Aug 19, 2008 12:33 pm

OperaTenor wrote:Haggis, that still doesn't prove your point. I didn't make deployments to go sniffing around the east coast of the Soviet Union because of anything Susan Sontag said.

Our intelligence community was just as surprised by the rapid disintegration of the USSR as anyone else. Case in point: SSN-21. If we had expected the breakup, that sub never would have gone into production.


All I said was "
During much of the Cold War The Russian military had a reputation for strength and efficiency that far exceeded reality. That reputation was ironically fueled by puff pieces by Leftist media as well as the Generals in the Pentagon.

The Leftist media was already convinced that the Soviets had won the war and the Generals thought that was the way to keep getting more and more money for more and more weapons
.

And you asked for citations of the Left media showing that they "already convinced that the Soviets had won the war ." So I did. Or did I misread your question?
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Re: War in Georgia

Postby OperaTenor » Tue Aug 19, 2008 12:52 pm

Haggis@wk wrote:During much of the Cold War The Russian military had a reputation for strength and efficiency that far exceeded reality. That reputation was ironically fueled by puff pieces by Leftist media as well as the Generals in the Pentagon.

The Leftist media was already convinced that the Soviets had won the war and the Generals thought that was the way to keep getting more and more money for more and more weapons.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union we saw then that the truth of the Soviet military might had been so blown out of context that it was quite conceivable that the West could have met the Soviets on a non-nuclear battlefield and won; an unimaginable concept for most the Cold War era.


This gave me the impression it was your contention that our national security policy was dictated by the media and not by our intelligence collection.
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Re: War in Georgia

Postby BigJon » Tue Aug 19, 2008 1:21 pm

It sounds like you are conflating security policy with weapons procurement policy. The Pentagon brass cherry-picked security reports that put the Soviet weapons systems in the best light and convinced congress that we needed to build one better. Like the Soviet autoloader canon that tended to load the gunner with the last shell. No soldier in his right mind would ever use the autoloader, but the security reorts note the autoloader speed, not the manual loading speed. The US brass convinced congress to fund a new weapon becaue we "needed one that loaded shells faster" to meet the "threat."
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Re: War in Georgia

Postby Shapley » Tue Aug 19, 2008 2:01 pm

OperaTenor wrote:Our intelligence community was just as surprised by the rapid disintegration of the USSR as anyone else. Case in point: SSN-21. If we had expected the breakup, that sub never would have gone into production.


Ronaldus Maximus wasn't surprised, nor were those who read about his plans to bankrupt the USSR through military spending. That sub was part of the plan. So was the "Star Wars" system. Russia lacked the GDP to "keep up with the Joneses", but Ronaldus knew they would try. Already in financial straits, the USSR's drive to build a military sufficient to counter the "American threat" was the straw that broke the camel's back.

The USSR and Ronald Reagan

Reagan's Military Buildup Bridged Military Eras

"What we had was two huge defense apparatuses busily propagandizing their governments to spend the absolute maximum amount of money," said Sprey, who was prominent in a group of reformers inside and outside the Pentagon who argued against increased military spending.

"It wasn't a buildup, it was just a spend-up," Sprey said. Reagan gave money to defense contractors for weapons while funds for troops, maintenance and training languished. For example, not only did Reagan approve construction of the costly B-2 bomber, Sprey said, he also resurrected the B-1 bomber, a problem-plagued program that the Air Force didn't want and the Carter administration canceled.


Misreading Reagan's Legacy: A truly conservative foreign policy.

Ronald Reagan certainly deserves much praise for bringing down the curtain on the Cold War, and Kristol and Kagan are right to credit him with courage, vision, and will. But they are wrong to take part of his legacy -- the moral crusade against the "evil empire" and his campaign for democracy -- and blow it up as if it were the whole show. The other side of the coin was the Reagan military buildup, which pressured the Soviet Union into making decisions that were ultimately self-destructive. This was hardheaded realism at its best. It was not some diffuse, open-ended campaign for democracy wherever it was threatened, but a concentrated strategy that mobilized all American resources, moral and military, to eliminate peacefully the threat to democracy at its source: the Soviet Union and, in effect, communism. Anyone who doubts the hardheadedness of the Reagan administration needs to remember not only the sharp focus of Reagan's strategy but the highly discriminating and limiting conditions that Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger imposed on military interventions.


It was no surprise to those who were paying attention....
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Re: War in Georgia

Postby Haggis@wk » Tue Aug 19, 2008 2:06 pm

OperaTenor wrote:
Haggis@wk wrote:During much of the Cold War The Russian military had a reputation for strength and efficiency that far exceeded reality. That reputation was ironically fueled by puff pieces by Leftist media as well as the Generals in the Pentagon.

The Leftist media was already convinced that the Soviets had won the war and the Generals thought that was the way to keep getting more and more money for more and more weapons.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union we saw then that the truth of the Soviet military might had been so blown out of context that it was quite conceivable that the West could have met the Soviets on a non-nuclear battlefield and won; an unimaginable concept for most the Cold War era.


This gave me the impression it was your contention that our national security policy was dictated by the media and not by our intelligence collection.


Maybe I worded it poorly. What I wanted to highlight was that the MSM was clearly in the bag for international Communism for much of the Cold War. From running interference to outright false stories praising the benefits of Communism.

In the book I referenced “In Denial” is an anecdote about historian Robert Conquest. He wrote “The Great Terror” in 1968 that exposed the evils of Soviet Communist regime, estimating that 20 million people were deliberately killed, especially during the Stalin reign. He also criticized Western leftists apologist of the Soviet Union.

Conquest was denounced, reviled, and pilloried by the Left media. After the fall of Communism a team of French historians calculated the worldwide death toll of communism during the 20th century at more than 93 million.

When Conquest used the newly available data from the Soviet Union to update "The Great Terror", his publishers asked for a new title. "How about ‘I Told You So, You F*****g Fools?" Conquest suggested.
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Re: War in Georgia

Postby Giant Communist Robot » Tue Aug 19, 2008 2:14 pm

Ronald Reagan certainly deserves much praise for


As I recall, Reagan was not interested in details or micromanagement. His team did the work and he supervised. One could say then, he was the right guy with the right team--but how that happened is beyond me. Maybe dumb luck.

I understand he did exhibit some Alzheimer's symptoms while in the White House. As things did not work out too badly for us, I would say we got lucky.
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Re: War in Georgia

Postby OperaTenor » Tue Aug 19, 2008 2:21 pm

Haggis, I get what you're saying now.

However, I must have grown up in a cocoon. My atmosphere was full of the "Red Threat" of communism. I don't recall ever seeing anyone espouse the joys of communism, or the saintly Soviets, who didn't earn widespread scorn and derision, especially from the media.

YMMV.
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Re: War in Georgia

Postby Selma in Sandy Eggo » Tue Aug 19, 2008 2:26 pm

Ronaldus Maximus wasn't surprised, nor were those who read about his plans to bankrupt the USSR through military spending. That sub was part of the plan. So was the "Star Wars" system. Russia lacked the GDP to "keep up with the Joneses", but Ronaldus knew they would try.

So, Uncle Ronnie was a devious machiavellian schemer; able to delude everyone. Sure.

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Re: War in Georgia

Postby Shapley » Tue Aug 19, 2008 2:36 pm

Haggis@wk wrote:This gave me the impression it was your contention that our national security policy was dictated by the media and not by our intelligence collection.


Maybe I worded it poorly. What I wanted to highlight was that the MSM was clearly in the bag for international Communism for much of the Cold War. From running interference to outright false stories praising the benefits of Communism. [/quote]

President Nixon comments on this in several of his books. The American media, of which he singles out a handful of reporters, continually demonized the South Vietnamese government, and President Diem in particular, while ignoring or aiding in covering up the atrocities of Ho Chi Mien. This continued throughout the war, perhaps best characterized by Jane Fonda's infamous photo op. The press overdramatized American and South Vietnamese atrocities and ignored those of Mien's communists. There was far more coverage of the Mai Lai massacre by a group of Americans than of the Hue Massacre by the North Vietnamese Communists. Even today, a search of Google will turn up more references to Mai Lai than Hue. The Americans responsible for Mai Lai were prosecuted, no one responsible for the Hue massacre was ever brough to trial. As President Nixon noted, "the Americans prosecuted their atrocities, the communists buried theirs".

President Kennedy's decision to support the coup that would lead to President Diem's death was based more on popular perception of the South Vietnamese President as seen through the press, than on actually intelligence from the ground. The result of the coup was two years of South Vietnamese turmoil during which time Mien was able to build a considerable foothold in the region.

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Re: War in Georgia

Postby Giant Communist Robot » Tue Aug 19, 2008 2:38 pm

Ronaldus Maximus wasn't surprised, nor were those who read about his plans to bankrupt the USSR through military spending. That sub was part of the plan. So was the "Star Wars" system.


My father told me this same "spend them into bankruptcy" idea in reference to John Kennedy back in 1963. I doubt it was original back then.
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Re: War in Georgia

Postby Haggis@wk » Tue Aug 19, 2008 2:41 pm

OperaTenor wrote:Haggis, I get what you're saying now.

However, I must have grown up in a cocoon. My atmosphere was full of the "Red Threat" of communism. I don't recall ever seeing anyone espouse the joys of communism, or the saintly Soviets, who didn't earn widespread scorn and derision, especially from the media.

YMMV.


Well, I just provided examples of the MSM acting as apologists or shills for Communism. Go read some and draw your own conclusion. check your library and see if they have a copy of "In Denial."

I haven't read the updated version of "The Great Terror" but I read the original version when I attended the USAF Senior NCO Academy in 1989 and recall that it was impressive. Especially in light that Conquest was an avowed Communist in his 20's.
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