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Kilo_302 Defends The Soviet Empire[ split from] UN is rotten to the core

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Kilo_302

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Adm Falls was mistaken.  In fact, I was in Germany in 1981, working at 4 CMBG HQ.  The Warsaw Pact exercise that ran concurrent with our final ex had nothing to do with a NATO invasion; it was, very much, a show of force intended to demonstrate just what the Warsaw Pact was capable of doing.  Ours was focused on defense against a WP strike out of Czechoslovakia, into Germany through the Hohenfels area.  We thought, at the time, that it was very decent of them to show us just what that would look like, on their side of the border.

I am not saying that the Warsaw Pact never ran offensive exercises, I am saying that MOST of their exercises were of a defensive nature, as were NATO's. Because you can point to one example that shows otherwise does not mean I, nor the good Admiral (who I would suspect is an authority on the subject), are incorrect.

My overall argument here is that the way we in the West view the Cold War is inaccurate. Of course the Soviets pursued all means to help their cause. I am suggesting that some of those policies were in response to Western provocation. That's all. I am not suggesting I would have preferred that the USSR had won the Cold War, I was happy to see it collapse. I am merely saying that commonly accepted history on this subject matter tends to be extremely biased (as is to be expected, history being written by the winners and all that), and that there are two sides to every coin. In general, obviously the USSR was aggressive. It was a major power. But in comparison to the US (which is how this debate must be seen, as it deals with a bipolar struggle) the USSR was NOT the aggressor.  I see where your argument as merit on the basis that Soviet human rights abuses were numerous. This would give the US moral credit in making more of a concerted effort to destabilize it. However, human rights and similar issues were not primary motivating factors in the US, nor the West.
 

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Kilo_302 said:
My overall argument here is that the way we in the West view the Cold War is inaccurate.

...and this you know better than those on this board who spent many years looking across the abyss??  PLEEEASE

Kilo_302 said:
But in comparison to the US (which is how this debate must be seen, as it deals with a bipolar struggle) the USSR was NOT the aggressor. 

Please list the countries that the US held hostage for some 50 years, please.

Kilo_302 said:
However, human rights and similar issues were not primary motivating factors in the US, nor the West.

...and in a few years I bet you will be spouting the same thing about us in Afghanistan.
 

Kilo_302

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Adm Falls was mistaken.  In fact, I was in Germany in 1981, working at 4 CMBG HQ.  The Warsaw Pact exercise that ran concurrent with our final ex had nothing to do with a NATO invasion; it was, very much, a show of force intended to demonstrate just what the Warsaw Pact was capable of doing.  Ours was focused on defense against a WP strike out of Czechoslovakia, into Germany through the Hohenfels area.  We thought, at the time, that it was very decent of them to show us just what that would look like, on their side of the border.

Having served in the military during the Cold War means you know a great many things I do not. Depending on what capacity you served in (I do not know) I am sure you could enlighten me on many subjects pertaining to your trade, and many that do not pertain to your trade. These facts do not preclude me from forming my own opinions based on research and comparative analysis, as well as simple numbers and figures.

Please list the countries that the US held hostage for some 50 years, please.

I am not going to list nations that the US has held hostage. What I will do is point you to Central and South America.

...and in a few years I bet you will be spouting the same thing about us in Afghanistan

I can spout the same thing about Afghanistan right now. I applaud and support the mission, as I believe it is definitely improving conditions in Afghanistan as well as aiding in the prevention of a terrorist attack on Canadian soil, or elsewhere. Though in some ways, it has raised Canada's profile among Islamic extremists, but this is to be expected when we start doing our part. Back to the conditions in Afghanistan, the Canadian public does not hear about these improvements often enough. You can thank Canadian media for that. However, you would have to be naive to argue that the primary aim of the invasion of Afghanistan was to improve human rights and ease poverty. If those are the results however, good.
 

FredDaHead

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Kilo_302 said:
However, you would have to be naive to argue that the primary aim of the invasion of Afghanistan was to improve human rights and ease poverty. If those are the results however, good.

And what WAS the primary aim of the invasion, in your expert opinion?
 

Kilo_302

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Well the immediate reason was to deny Bin Laden and his followers a free sanctuary in which they could train and plot and plot and train wherever they wanted. Of course there were probably some other strategic considerations (most decisions as important as war factor in several possible outcomes through cost benefit analysis).
 

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Kilo_302 said:
I am not going to list nations that the US has held hostage. What I will do is point you to Central and South America.

OK, I checked, they are still there........what?
 

dglad

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Kilo_302 said:
I am not saying that the Warsaw Pact never ran offensive exercises, I am saying that MOST of their exercises were of a defensive nature, as were NATO's. Because you can point to one example that shows otherwise does not mean I, nor the good Admiral (who I would suspect is an authority on the subject), are incorrect.

But Adm Falls WAS incorrect.  In the quote you provided, he said "always".  I demonstrated an instance where that wasn't true.  Therefore, the WP didn't "always" initiate their exercises with a NATO invasion.  I don't decry the good Admiral's expertise on the subject...I'm saying that he was mistaken.  That makes an argument based on this particular quote of his less than credible.[/quote]

My overall argument here is that the way we in the West view the Cold War is inaccurate. Of course the Soviets pursued all means to help their cause. I am suggesting that some of those policies were in response to Western provocation. That's all. I am not suggesting I would have preferred that the USSR had won the Cold War, I was happy to see it collapse. I am merely saying that commonly accepted history on this subject matter tends to be extremely biased (as is to be expected, history being written by the winners and all that), and that there are two sides to every coin. In general, obviously the USSR was aggressive. It was a major power. But in comparison to the US (which is how this debate must be seen, as it deals with a bipolar struggle) the USSR was NOT the aggressor.  I see where your argument as merit on the basis that Soviet human rights abuses were numerous. This would give the US moral credit in making more of a concerted effort to destabilize it. However, human rights and similar issues were not primary motivating factors in the US, nor the West.

The "history was written by the winners" argument falls rather flat when its applied to a period in recent memory.  The fact is that one cannot make a blanket statement like "the way we in the West view the Cold War is inaccurate", because my view of the Cold War is based on direct experience, NOT on recorded history.  And based on that observation, I believe that both sides responded to what they perceived as provocation on the other.  More to point, this was especially true on the part of the Soviets, as they had recently come through a horrific war that inflicted titanic damage on their country and their people (and this only 20 years after a war that did much the same thing, and also resulted in huge political, social and cultural upheaval).  The country's leadership, as a result, became very sensitive about national security; the psychology that would reasonably result from this is, "never again".  Hence, the USSR expanded its borders as aggressively as it could post-WW2, establishing Eastern Europe as a "buffer" against further threat from that direction (since the invasions in WW1 and WW2 had come from that direction).  They developed forces that were very specifically tailored to be offensive in character, so that they could carry a war "off-shore".  Their policies through the 50s and 60s were INTENDED to be aggressive and expansionist, for reasons that the Soviet leadership believed to be perfectly valid and justified (remember that Nikita Kruschev personally witnessed the horror of Stalingrad).  Passive defence of the Motherland in 1916 and 1941 spectacularly failed to stave off disaster, so in 1945, the national strategic policy became one of imminent offence, specifically designed to pre-empt any threat, any repeat of Operation Barbarossa.

US reasons for opposing the USSR were hardly pure; superficially, there was certainly some sincere desire to protect and promote democracy.  However, their reasons were, at a more fundamental level, much more pragmatic and cynical; the US economy was increasingly dependent on foreign resources and access to overseas markets.  This meant it was necessary to project power around the globe; confrontation between the US desire to protect and further its economic interests and Soviet paranoia about threats to their territory, sovereignty and people was inevitable.  In such a scenario, it's hard to particularly label one side or the other as the "aggressor"; moreover, the role changed from time to time and place to place.  But overall, it was the USSR that held the more aggressive stance--not because they were "evil" in some cartoonish, villainous way (well, actually, Josef Stalin was a homicidal megalomaniac, but his successors were much more practical men), but because the post-war Soviet psychology equated defence with ruin, and offence with protection.

It wasn't until a new generation of leaders came along that the old paranoia began to wane.  Mikhail Gorbachev was born in 1931, so he was in his early teens through the devastation of WW2, young enough that it simply wouldn't carry the same weight as it did for Kruschev (born 1894), Brezhnev (born 1907), Andropov (born 1914) or Chernenko (born 1911), or any of these leaders' respective party apparatus.

So I believe the USSR WAS the "aggressor" in the Cold War; if they hadn't occupied Eastern Europe and had withdrawn, after the war, to their pre-war borders, the entire rationale for the formation of NATO and the alignment of the West would have been weakened (we may, in fact, have seen a much stronger US-Europe competition develop much sooner).  But they did seize Eastern Europe...for reasons that are relatively easy to understand, if impossible for rational people to accept.
 

MarkOttawa

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Kilo_302:  With regard to first strike capabability are you aware of the SS-18?
http://www.fas.org/nuke/guide/russia/icbm/r-36m.htm

The Reagan and Bush administrations respected the SS-18 to such a degree that they made it the main focus of their arms control initiatives. The START II Treaty
http://www.state.gov/www/global/arms/starthtm/start2/st2intal.html
specifically banned land-based MIRV systems, in part, because of the threat the SS-18 posed to the balance of power. It was seen as a first-strike weapon and a very destabilizing presence in the bilateral relationship
.

Before, there was the SS-9, progenitor of the 18:
http://www.fas.org/nuke/guide/russia/icbm/r-36.htm

The SS-9's combination of high accuracy and yield constituted a convincing threat for the American ICBMs for the first time. The SS-9 was viewed in the United States as specifically designed to attack American Minuteman ICBM Launch Control Centers (LCCs), which initially were the "Achilles heel" of the Minuteman system, as 100 LCCs controlled all 1,000 Minuteman missiles. However, by 1969, as a result of redundant internetting of Minuteman silos and a backup airborne launch control system, the LCCs no longer were the "achilles heel" of Minuteman, so building one SS-9 for each Minuteman silo required MIRVed systems.

I would however agree that the US military too was, in spite of political doctrine, always looking for a potential first strike capability.  The decapitation possibilities of the Pershing II were, I think, significant:
http://www.fas.org/nuke/guide/usa/theater/pershing2.htm

Especially if combined with a simultaneous launch of ICBMs.  Not much reaction time and the SLMBs would still be there plus the bombers with SRAMs--which might have been en route.
http://www.fas.org/nuke/guide/usa/bomber/b-52_hist.htm
http://imdb.com/title/tt0057012/

But then the Americans never tried, did they?  Decent folk, all things considered.

You have still not replied to this comment:

Kilo_302: "Now it should be quite obvious that I was not referring to Mongolia or Myanmar etc . However, there are US bases in the 'stans as we speak. In Kyrgyzstan, Russian and US airbases are mere miles from each other. George W. Bush has been making overtures in Vietnam, and in SE Asia in general."

In other words there is no "encirclement"--just some small stuff in the wild west.  And any encirclement would have to include Russia which clearly is not part of your plot.  Admit the facts or change your terminology--I would agree there may be an emerging confrontation but it is basically China/Russia on one side with US/Japan/Taiwan (and maybe sometime India) on the other.

Mark
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MarkOttawa

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Kilo-302: "(most decisions as important as war factor in several possible outcomes through cost benefit analysis)."

The British declarations of war in 1914, 1939?  The response to 9/11 by the US?  Honestly, do you not understand honour and, indeed, pride?

Did you not see the service in the Washington Cathedral, Sept. 14, 2001 I think, and hear the "Battle Hymn of the Republic" sung?
http://www.cyberhymnal.org/htm/b/h/bhymnotr.htm

Nothing to do with cost/benefit there, though the war in Iraq has clearly been a disaster--not though as a result of intent but of execution.

Glad you're still onside on Afstan.

Mark
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Kilo_302

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The data i was referring to was until 1960, I thought I posted that. for the encirclement, no obviously it is not a literal "encirclement" but the United States is definitely trying to find allies that are located near China. I still think the India nuclear agreement is the most dangerous as India and China don't enjoy a peaceful history.Sorry for the late reply. I am juggling responses to a good half dozen people here. Good thing I'm on holiday. ;D

But Adm Falls WAS incorrect.  In the quote you provided, he said "always".  I demonstrated an instance where that wasn't true.  Therefore, the WP didn't "always" initiate their exercises with a NATO invasion.  I don't decry the good Admiral's expertise on the subject...I'm saying that he was mistaken.  That makes an argument based on this particular quote of his less than credible

I think these are semantics. I was merely trying to point out that both sides primarily planned for defensive operations.  That one was taken from a conversation (my fault, I should have been more clear) so when he says "always" he probably does not mean 100% of the time. More than likely he means "usually" or "constantly" or something similar.

The British declarations of war in 1914, 1939?  The response to 9/11 by the US?  Honestly, do you not understand honour and, indeed, pride?

Honour and pride have their place. Bush and his advisors probably decided on September 11 that a response was warranted. Yes there are examples of war being declared as a result of emotion. But in this case, war wasn't declared. I don't how soon after 9/11 the US decided to go after Afghanistan, but I guarantee you once they found out the attacks may have originated there, Bush and his senior people, Rumsfeld, Cheney etc sat down and planned the thing, probably through a cost benefit analysis. Almost all major FP decisions made by any government operating through a realist framework does this.


 

FredDaHead

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Kilo_302 said:
The data i was referring to was until 1960, I thought I posted that. for the encirclement, no obviously it is not a literal "encirclement" but the United States is definitely trying to find allies that are located near China. I still think the India nuclear agreement is the most dangerous as India and China don't enjoy a peaceful history.Sorry for the late reply. I am juggling responses to a good half dozen people here. Good thing I'm on holiday. ;D

You said 1945, with an embryonic NATO and a nuclear France.

You made stuff up, and then when proved wrong you make up new stuff to back out of what you said previously. Once again, intellectual dishonesty. I hope you're out of university or that you have very understanding teachers, if you write your papers the same way you write your posts.
 

paracowboy

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Kilo_302 said:
Almost all major FP decisions made by any government operating through a realist framework does this.
okay, I'll bite. Just how many governments have you been a part of? And how many decisions were you involved with, as part of those governments?
 

Klc

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Kilo_302 said:
Almost all major FP decisions made by any government operating through a realist framework does this.

I've been trying to keep my mouth shut here, but I have to call this one. What background do you have in Major FP decisions that allows you to come to this conclusion?

[edit: Drat! PC beat me to the punch. At least I know I'm not the only one wondering about this.]
 

Kilo_302

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I have a joint degree in Political Science and History. As for cost-benefit analysis, you can literally look up any book on government, American or Canadian or otherwise and come to the conclusion that most of the time, thats how decisions are made. In fact there are entire books dealing with cost-benefit analysis alone.

You said 1945, with an embryonic NATO and a nuclear France.

The USSR didn't have the bomb yet, so I don't see how that could have been my argument.
 

Bruce Monkhouse

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Kilo_302,
Well lad, I just went through all your posts and its time to put you on a shorter leash................you need to start putting info into your posts instead of just ' pick up any book' or 'just look for it", etc.

I want substance to back up your arguements because all we get from you is the same tired old Jan Brady syndrome.

The U.S. did it, the U.S. did it.......
 

paracowboy

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Kilo_302 said:
As for cost-benefit analysis, you can literally look up any book on government, American or Canadian or otherwise and come to the conclusion that most of the time, thats how decisions are made.
you can come to any sort of conclusion. You could conclude that decisions are made based on rolling sheep's bones. But that don't make it proof, now do it?

Fella, you been makin' a real horse's ass out of yourself on any number of threads, and getting your head handed to you in ever' one. Don't you get tired of bein' wrong all the time?

Jus' wonderin'.

I'll leave ya'll to your li'l discussion. But, it seems to me that you're all wrestlin' with a pig.
 

Kilo_302

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I think I'm done on this thread. When some "cowboy" starts throwing around weird references to wrestling with pigs, the debate as taken a decided turn for the worse. You aren't the guy from the village people are you?
 

Bruce Monkhouse

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Everyone is done on this thread.........................but its a nice slice of revisionist history for the ages.

Locked.
 

Bruce Monkhouse

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Alright, not everyone is done. ;D

Here is a PM I recieved from Edward Campbell whom, pay attention Kilo, was there and involved.

I'm posting it like this so no dogpile ensues while the thread is unlocked. [ well that and some might think I had half a brain and wrote it]


Correcting the revisionist history

Adm Falls was a very nice man; he went to the NATO MC after being CDS; he was tired.  Chairman of the NATO MC was meant to be a quiet, well paid, comfortable reward for his many years of service.  He wasn’t expected to stay awake at every briefing – especially not the INT ones which are, without fail, excruciatingly dull, indeed sophoriphic.

Like Adm Falls, I neither monitored every Warsaw Pact exercise nor paid close attention to the briefings by those who did.

What I did, for a time, follow, closely, was Warsaw Pact tactics and doctrine.  Both were based firmly on the offensive.  The Russian and East German marshals and generals did not preach nor did they practice the defensive battle.  Every Warsaw Pact battalion commander (a glorified company commander by our standards) was taught to advance, attack, continue the advance and attack again.  The ‘plan’ was to ‘burn through’ our defences, sacrificing the lead battalions, the lead regiments and, indeed the lead divisions.  There was no defensive doctrine.  The military schools and staff colleges did not teach defensive operations except those necessary to allow another division to pass through and continue the attack.

The Warsaw Pact armies, and there were several combined arms armies (big corps, by our standards) and guards armies and guards tank armies and so on, were more than enough, the Russians believed, to overwhelm eight small, poorly prepared NATO corps strung out North to South from Denmark to Switzerland – especially given that half of those corps were poorly positioned and some would, most likely, fail to deploy.  We had some surprises for them, we hoped: nuclear surprises because, being on the strategic, operational and tactical defensive, we could not renounce our ‘first use’ option – only the aggressor can do that, and the Warsaw Pact, which was the aggressor, without a single, tiny shadow of a doubt – and no single reputable historian disputes that (although Jim Laxer certainly does).

The ‘numbers game’ proved, beyond a shadow of a doubt, who was the aggressor and who was the defender: NATO, with less than two dozen divisions on the central front was, clearly, on the defensive.  The Warsaw Pact, with, literally, scores of divisions and tens of thousands of tanks and howitzers was, equally clearly, prepared to attack.  They were, from 1945 onwards, the aggressor.  That is indisputable.

That the Soviet leadership was realistic in its approach is true: that’s why they never attacked.  They were not certain that they could win, not even with their overwhelming numerical superiority and not even with all that mass and shock effect.

Why were they so timid?

First: lousy troops.  The Russians may have been big and brave in 1941/45 but, by 1960 they were a large, ill trained, poorly led mob of largely drunken bums – kept that way (drunk) to avoid mutiny.

Second: The Russian officer corps – I have been told by quite senior East Germans, confirming our own intelligence – was a disgrace: ill educated, poorly trained (well enough drilled but no initiative), disloyal and crooked.

Third: while the kit was fine but poorly maintained because of a decrepit and badly mismanaged logistics system.

Finally: The command, control, communications and intelligence system was a bad joke.  It took more than 48 hours to move (not process, just move intelligence from e.g. high level SIGINT sites like the famous ‘Borken’ to the HQ which might act on it.

Realistically they could only win if they followed a barrage of nukes – and they weren’t interested in smouldering, radioactive ruin.  (We, on the other hand, were not averse to leaving that behind as we withdrew Westwards.  Understandably, ‘we’ did not include the West Germans whose territory we ‘gridded’ into hundreds of Nuclear Killing Zones.)

That theoretical realism did not, in any way, alter the practical reality that the USSR and its empire was poised for the offensive.  It was the aggressive force in the ‘40s, ‘50s, ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s.
 
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