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Ukraine Battles to Rebuild a Depleted Military
The Wall Street Journal ^ | March 24, 2014 | JEANNE WHALEN and ALAN CULLISON

Posted on 03/24/2014 8:17:01 PM PDT by MinorityRepublican

KIEV, Ukraine—As the Kremlin began its invasion of the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea last month, a days-old government in Kiev turned to its military to stem the tide. There was an immediate problem: No car batteries for the military vehicles.

With coffers empty, Ukraine's fledgling government appealed to the U.S. embassy for help. The embassy said it would take weeks to get assistance, so the government had to search—among its own people—to find a regional oligarch, Ihor Kolomoisky, to kick in the funds to buy them locally.

According to a spokesman for the banking and oil products magnate, Mr. Kolomoisky spent "several million dollars" of his own money, but he stresses others are helping too. "There are lots of small businesses, farmers and local people who are pitching in to help the military bases," said the spokesman.

(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...


TOPICS: Front Page News; News/Current Events; Russia; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: crimea; russia; russiancirclejerk; ukraine; ukrainecrisis; ukrainemilitary; viktoryanukovich; yuliatymoshenko

1 posted on 03/24/2014 8:17:01 PM PDT by MinorityRepublican
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To: MinorityRepublican

Kiev’s problem is the army is split right down the middle. It can’t be sure of the loyalty of Russophone army units.

And those on Crimea have already shifted allegiance to Russia.


2 posted on 03/24/2014 8:23:26 PM PDT by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives In My Heart Forever)
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To: MinorityRepublican
As the Kremlin began its invasion of the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea last month, a days-old government in Kiev turned to its military to stem the tide. There was an immediate problem: No car batteries for the military vehicles.

These are the sorts of problems corrupt governments run by crony-capitalists will face. I've said before - I am not sure Ukraine is a nation. Its a multi-ethnic appendage that fell off a leprous and dying Soviet Union. It also has the lowest birth rate in Europe. They sound rather like a group of cynical people who don't have much interest in surviving as a nation.

The West wants it to be a bulwark against Russian expansionism, but its a pretty sad horse to bet on.

3 posted on 03/24/2014 8:24:50 PM PDT by PGR88
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To: PGR88

Rebuilding Ukraine’s army is an expensive undertaking and the country doesn’t have the cash to do it.

All it can hope is the Russians will calculate an invasion is too expensive for them.


4 posted on 03/24/2014 8:27:53 PM PDT by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives In My Heart Forever)
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To: goldstategop
Kiev’s problem is the army is split right down the middle.

No it's not. 80% of Ukraine wants nothing to do with Russia. And most folks who are army age weren't even alive when Ukraine was "part" of Russia.

5 posted on 03/24/2014 8:37:58 PM PDT by FreeReign
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To: PGR88

I don’t think the Obama team is smart enough to think that far ahead, is if it would be ahead at this point.

Obama is a reactionary, and he really doesn’t give a carp at all about the situation in the Ukraine. If it humiliates the West, he couldn’t be happier.

The only reason why he’s acting like he cares at all, is because the public perception weighs heavily on him. If he just blows it off, he becomes a total idiot in the eyes of the public.

If he acts like he gives a rip, he can at least play the “well there’s only so much we can do” card. Then he can go upstairs, put up his feet land laugh out loud, “As if I give a rat’s ass!”

I don’t think it’ wise to play up the differences within the Ukraine. The country has lasted 22 years. It hasn’t been a hot-bed of trouble. For the most part it has been reasonably well adjusted. I agree that it’s government has made mistakes. Frankly, look at ours over the last 22 years.

The Ukraine deserves at the very least, our moral support. If Putin sees a complete rejection of his actions, and the perception building in the West that he is coming very close to looking like Hitler in the 1930s, it may cause him to weigh his actions more heavily.

We should not as Conservatives be telegraphing a green light by trashing the Ukraine every chance we get. Perhaps there’s some reason to. Is it going to be productive right now to do the dirty laundry in public?

What Russia did was wrong.

The Ukraine needs to get back on track, and left alone it will. Russia needs to pull it’s nose back onto it’s face and back off.


6 posted on 03/24/2014 8:42:16 PM PDT by DoughtyOne (Immigration Reform is job NONE. It isn't even the leading issue with Hipanics. Enforce our laws.)
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To: MinorityRepublican

Yet now we’re going to give them a billion dollars that will probably disappear in someone’s pocket without at trace.


7 posted on 03/24/2014 8:48:02 PM PDT by Rob the Ugly Dude
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To: Rob the Ugly Dude

The funny thing is that cash is going to find its way back into Russia’s coffers. After all, money is fungible.


8 posted on 03/24/2014 8:50:34 PM PDT by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives In My Heart Forever)
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To: goldstategop

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-03-24/poland-quietly-mobilizing-its-army-reservists


9 posted on 03/24/2014 8:55:14 PM PDT by Therapsid
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To: FreeReign

25 years isn’t such a long time for statehood.

Anyway, a political solution will save every one from having to take sides.

The likely outcome is a federal arrangement in Ukraine concluded between the West and Russia.


10 posted on 03/24/2014 8:57:26 PM PDT by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives In My Heart Forever)
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To: MinorityRepublican

They had third most powerful military in the world just 20 years ago. At least in numbers it was on par with modern US military, just slightly shorter in warships and strategic nukes.
And all their best assets ended up in hands of anyone willing to pay a dime. That is how China got an aircraft carrier and 4gen fighter technology at a ridiculous price.
There were numerous cases of criticism considering Budapest agreement on Ukrainian nuclear disarmament on this board but has anyone thought how could it work wouldn’t they’ve been disarmed?
I think hundreds heavily discounted warheads on black market is a realistic scenario.
Not only Iran but Hamas and drug cartels wouldn’t mind to offer a condo in Miami to a Ukrainian politician for one and get another for free.


11 posted on 03/24/2014 9:17:34 PM PDT by wetphoenix
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To: MinorityRepublican

A real president would have flooded Ukraine with money, weapons, and advisers as soon as this crisis began not to mention massing our military in Eastern Europe.


12 posted on 03/24/2014 9:25:39 PM PDT by Red White and Blue patriot (USA all the way. Love it or Leave it. Ted Cruz 2016)
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To: MinorityRepublican

Send them some Warthogs.


13 posted on 03/24/2014 9:33:41 PM PDT by smokingfrog ( sleep with one eye open (<o> ---)
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To: goldstategop

We should send them some stuff—maybe some old things we have. Give them some old mothballed ships. Like Lend Lease in ww II—Maybe we could send some hot fighters and pilots like the old Flying Tigers in China ? Europe can help with some arms. Russians may want a land link to Criema. The US should give them some planes and ships. Better them than the Moslem Brotherhood in Egypt.


14 posted on 03/24/2014 9:35:53 PM PDT by Forward the Light Brigade (Into the Jaws of H*ll)
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To: goldstategop

Those formerly in charge of the Ukrainian military Putin doesn’t hire have the perfect résumés for Obama’s Pentagon. They’ve already destroyed one great armed forces.


15 posted on 03/24/2014 9:44:05 PM PDT by JohnBovenmyer (Obama been Liberal. Hope Change!)
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To: goldstategop

“25 years isn’t such a long time for statehood.”

The Ukraine has been a sovereign state for almost 97 years, not “25 years.” The Ukrainian sovereignty while a member of the Soviet Union was recognized by the United Nations, which seated the Ukrainian government as a seperate state. Furthermore it has been only 22 years and 7 months since the Ukraine’s membership in the Soviet Union was dissolved in August 1991, and not 25 years.

“Anyway, a political solution will save every one from having to take sides.”

That is a false statement used for pro-Russian disinformation and propaganda. If that were the case, Putin would have used political diplomacy and perhaps a purchase of the Crimea instead of brute military force against the sovereign Ukraine to forcibly conquer and annex the territory.

“The likely outcome is a federal arrangement in Ukraine concluded between the West and Russia.”

That is a false statement used for pro-Russian disinformation and propaganda, because the Russian insistence upon federalizing the Ukrainian provinces is designed specifically to divide the Ukraine up until it can be fully conquered and annexed by Russia. The Bolshevists used the same methods to conquer the independent Ukrainian governments in 1917-1922.


16 posted on 03/24/2014 9:45:56 PM PDT by WhiskeyX ( provides a system for registering complaints about unfair broadcasters and the ability to request a)
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To: goldstategop

Most Ukrainian military in Crimea has now joined the Russian military. Virtually all ships turned over to Russia. Ukrainian naval commander now 2nd in command of Russian Black Sea Fleet.


17 posted on 03/24/2014 10:11:27 PM PDT by LowTaxesEqualsProsperity
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To: LowTaxesEqualsProsperity
Most Ukrainian military in Crimea has now joined the Russian military. Virtually all ships turned over to Russia. Ukrainian naval commander now 2nd in command of Russian Black Sea Fleet.

Some have and some haven't:

Ukrainian navy officers have rejected pleas for them to defect to the self-declared Crimean government at an extraordinary meeting at their headquarters in Sevastopol.

On Sunday the recently appointed navy commander-in-chief, Rear Admiral Denis Berezovsky, appeared on television to announce he was defecting to the Russian-supported Crimean authorities. But despite his appeals to officers on Monday, they said they would remain loyal to their oaths to serve Ukraine. Berezovsky has been accused of state treason by the new authorities in Kiev.

Elsewhere in Crimea, Russia continued in its attempts to intimidate Ukrainian forces into submission as troop manoeuvres against bases across the peninsula continued.

At Ukraine's naval command on Monday morning, officers lined up in the yard of their Sevastopol headquarters to be addressed by both Berezovsky and the newly appointed navy chief commander, Serhiy Haiduk.

The officers broke into applause as Haiduk read them an order from Kiev removing Berezovsky from his position, and told them that Berezovsky was facing treason charges. When Haiduk had finished his dry but compelling address, the officers spontaneously broke into the national anthem, and some were seen to cry. Berezovsky showed no visible sign of emotion.

During the Revolutionary War, Benedict Arnold wasn't the only officer of the Continental Army to defect to the Crown, although he was the most well-known example.
18 posted on 03/24/2014 10:54:16 PM PDT by Zhang Fei (Let us pray that peace be now restored to the world and that God will preserve it always.)
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To: goldstategop

Those on Crimea were from Russia. The indigenous Ukranian soldiers left after Putin’s army threatened their families with murder. The man you admire so much is a gangster, after all, worth $75 billion.


19 posted on 03/24/2014 11:42:56 PM PDT by elhombrelibre (Against Obama. Against Putin. Pro-freedom.)
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To: goldstategop

“And those on Crimea have already shifted allegiance to Russia.”

Lots of reasons for this, from family ties, to greater opportunities in the Russian sphere. In an almost-civil war like this, it takes times for loyalties to sort out. As it did in our own.

The fact that Ukraine can’t count on those already sworn to defend the nation says volumes about what has been happening inside Ukraine, for some time.

Most people don’t make that kind of a decision lightly.


20 posted on 03/24/2014 11:52:40 PM PDT by tcrlaf (Well, it is what the Sheeple voted for....)
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To: smokingfrog

~Send them some Warthogs.~

Not exactly the best platform for this conflict.


21 posted on 03/25/2014 12:30:47 AM PDT by wetphoenix
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To: PGR88

“I am not sure Ukraine is a nation. Its a multi-ethnic appendage that fell off a leprous and dying Soviet Union. It also has the lowest birth rate in Europe. They sound rather like a group of cynical people who don’t have much interest in surviving as a nation.”

There is certainly enough of a common heritage, language, etc. for a nation, though I don’t know it would have the size/shape it currently has. In the south in particular, I don’t know how many people are “Ukrainian”.


22 posted on 03/25/2014 4:09:40 AM PDT by kearnyirish2 (Affirmative action is economic war against white males (and therefore white families).)
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To: wetphoenix

“And all their best assets ended up in hands of anyone willing to pay a dime.”

I remember when this was happening. At the time the wall came down and the Soviet Union crumbled, analysts said the new (and newly independent) former republics and Warsaw Pact nations had to make a decision: Quickly abandon the central planning of communism, resulting in short-term pain for a long-term benefit (which Poland chose), or face weak economic conditions in the long run (which Ukraine opted for). The sale of military assets was to bolster state coffers - a short-term solution to a long-term problem.


23 posted on 03/25/2014 4:15:02 AM PDT by kearnyirish2 (Affirmative action is economic war against white males (and therefore white families).)
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To: MinorityRepublican

Sounds like America in two or three years.


24 posted on 03/25/2014 6:57:16 AM PDT by RetiredArmy (MARANATHA, MARANATHA, Come quickly LORD Jesus!!! Father send thy Son!! Its Time!)
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To: goldstategop

There are numerous things Ukraine can do though, in the event of a major Russian military push. They can start getting the roadside bombs ready. I remember in Iraq, the insurgents managed to stop entire convoys of trucks and even heavy tanks by merely putting suspicious looking devices on the side of major roadways. Snipers are also effective. The Ukrainian military can get out of their uniforms and go full blown insurgent mode. That with funneled in surface to air missiles and other assorted nasty surprises we learned the hard way to deal with in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Russian military can once again be forced to reevaluate what they are doing like the Mujaheddin forced them to do at earlier point in Russian military history.


25 posted on 03/25/2014 6:57:36 AM PDT by corlorde (forWARD of the state)
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To: DoughtyOne
"...The Ukraine needs to get back on track, and left alone it will. Russia needs to pull it’s nose back onto it’s face and back off...."

Hey D, good buddy... "left alone" is the key phrase there. Left alone to work out the details of their Nationhood, their own internal problems, etc., but that isn't going to happen. All through their history, someone or other has been putting a boot on them.

Check out Elena Filatova's site when you get the chance. Links down the center of the page are week-by-week updates. She's a Ukrainian photojournalist and is there at street level. Website below:

http://www.elenafilatova.com/index.html

26 posted on 03/25/2014 6:58:50 AM PDT by NFHale (The Second Amendment - By Any Means Necessary.)
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To: corlorde

I’m active duty, and you’re recent military, so I would rather engage here than with some of the other nonsense I’ve seen thus far.

I think that you and I can both agree that what you are suggesting is sound logic, but I think that what you are mentioning will never happen in Ukraine. Iraq, Afghanistan, etc are all areas with a high desire to become martyrs for whatever ill-conceived reason. It is literally a cult of death, built on pure hatred and sustained by high birthrates.

Ukraine, on the other hand, is the exact opposite. They can sit in a square in Kiev, they can cry for government intervention, but they won’t fight Russia. Despite all of the Orthodox priests at the protests, a vast majority of the population is Atheist. Their birthrate is one of the lowest in Europe, and they are an economic basketcase due to ongoing Soviet attitudes of pure laziness. They can’t even create a functional government. Remember, before Yunukovych, we had the backstabbing alliances of Yushchenko and Tymoschenko.

Moral of the story: they don’t have the “fire in the belly” of the people you and I have fought. Insurgents made us bleed over Fallujah with nothing more than homemade explosives, 30 year old assault rifles, and Chinese hand grenades. Ukraine had a multitude of military bases in the Crimea equipped with naval vessels, fighter jets, APCs, and tanks. They literally gave it up WITHOUT A FIGHT. Troops stayed in their bases, and then sang their national anthem while being overrun.

The point? Ukraine won’t fight for itself. Like every other weak-willed country in the world, they want America to come fight for them. Or the EU. Or anyone else.

America doesn’t need to shed blood for a country that let an entire region be annexed by “irregulars” or unsupported light infantry, because they were too weak to defend themselves. Any country who’s idea of independence starts with “let the Americans come save us” are not worthy of Independence.

Moral of the story: I don’t like the people you and I have fought against, but I respect them. They’ll die for what they believe in. They might fight dirty while doing it, but at least they fight. Ukraine is full of weak-willed pansies. If they can’t fight for themselves, then they deserve to live under the Russian boot.


27 posted on 03/25/2014 8:38:46 AM PDT by The Black Knight (What would John Rambo do?)
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To: FreeReign

True. I would add that opposition (to ousted gov’t) leader Yulia Tymoshenko, of the party “Batkivshchyna”, spoke primarily Russian until she was 36. The notion that all Russian speakers in Ukraine are supportive of Putin’s actions is rather misleading. Just exactly what that split is could prove to be important.

On the other side of it, Tymoshenko & Putin got along reasonably well, while she was in power. I suppose having a Russian puppet gov’t throw you in prison, and then have Russia slice off part of your country, could affect one’s attitude.


28 posted on 03/25/2014 9:11:48 AM PDT by Paul R. (Leftists desire to control everything; In the end they invariably control nothing worth a damn.)
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To: The Black Knight

Gross oversimplification.


29 posted on 03/25/2014 9:17:37 AM PDT by Paul R. (Leftists desire to control everything; In the end they invariably control nothing worth a damn.)
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To: PGR88
The West wants it to be a bulwark against Russian expansionism, but its a pretty sad horse to bet on.

Are we any better? We can't even get them (Ukraine) batteries (or a way to obtain them) in under several weeks? Putin must be LHAO.

30 posted on 03/25/2014 9:20:47 AM PDT by Paul R. (Leftists desire to control everything; In the end they invariably control nothing worth a damn.)
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To: Paul R.
Are we any better? We can't even get them (Ukraine) batteries (or a way to obtain them) in under several weeks? Putin must be LHAO.

Maybe not, but the USA can't defend the entire world. And Yes, Putin sees this as a cake-walk. Ukraine has been independent for 20 years, and they have faced Putin for nearly 15 of them. If they have no sense of trying to maintain their own culture and uniqueness among nations, have had no fear of Russia in that time, and their government has instead spent its time trying to see how much money they can steal, then its really not a nation - and its a fantasy for the USA to think it can be defended.

31 posted on 03/25/2014 9:31:33 AM PDT by PGR88
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To: DoughtyOne
I don’t think the Obama team is smart enough to think that far ahead, is if it would be ahead at this point.

Obama is a reactionary, and he really doesn’t give a carp at all about the situation in the Ukraine. If it humiliates the West, he couldn’t be happier.

The only reason why he’s acting like he cares at all, is because the public perception weighs heavily on him. If he just blows it off, he becomes a total idiot in the eyes of the public.

If he acts like he gives a rip, he can at least play the “well there’s only so much we can do” card. Then he can go upstairs, put up his feet land laugh out loud, “As if I give a rat’s ass!”

I don’t think it’ wise to play up the differences within the Ukraine. The country has lasted 22 years. It hasn’t been a hot-bed of trouble. For the most part it has been reasonably well adjusted. I agree that it’s government has made mistakes. Frankly, look at ours over the last 22 years.

The Ukraine deserves at the very least, our moral support. If Putin sees a complete rejection of his actions, and the perception building in the West that he is coming very close to looking like Hitler in the 1930s, it may cause him to weigh his actions more heavily.

We should not as Conservatives be telegraphing a green light by trashing the Ukraine every chance we get. Perhaps there’s some reason to. Is it going to be productive right now to do the dirty laundry in public?

What Russia did was wrong.

The Ukraine needs to get back on track, and left alone it will. Russia needs to pull it’s nose back onto it’s face and back off.

This is a very good post; and I agree completely with it!

I do have to admit, however, that I got a chuckle out of the part about President Obama's not giving "a carp" about the future of Ukraine, as if this rough fish might have anything to do with it.

(Okay, I admit it: I, too, have made my share of typos on posts to various political forums.)

32 posted on 03/25/2014 10:28:41 AM PDT by AmericanExceptionalist (Democrats believe in discussing the full spectrum of ideas, all the way from far left to center-left)
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To: Therapsid

I would think that if anyone knows the smell of smoke from a smoldering conflict about to explode into a major war, it would be Poland.


33 posted on 03/25/2014 1:22:52 PM PDT by SpinnerWebb (IN-SAPORIBVS-SICVT-PVLLVM)
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To: PGR88
Maybe not, but the USA can't defend the entire world. And Yes, Putin sees this as a cake-walk. Ukraine has been independent for 20 years, and they have faced Putin for nearly 15 of them. If they have no sense of trying to maintain their own culture and uniqueness among nations, have had no fear of Russia in that time, and their government has instead spent its time trying to see how much money they can steal, then its really not a nation - and its a fantasy for the USA to think it can be defended.

Well, you've just made a point that most of the Maydan protestors were trying to make: Ukraine has essentially never been out from under Russia's thumb. On the political side, there was fear of Russia by some: In 1992 Prime Minister of Ukraine Leonid Kuchma argued for keeping some of their nukes, but apparently was overruled or arm-twisted otherwise. Later, somewhat more independent President Viktor Yushchenko was poisoned, and most recently, President Viktor Yanukovych proved to be a complete Russian puppet / stooge, erasing any gains that had been made. Ukraine has never been free of heavy-handed Russian interference, but that (and the corruption, not to mention beatings of initially peaceful protesters) is what most of the protesters at the large Maydan demonstrations turned out against.

At present? WE are the ones telling Ukraine not to fight, both by our words, and more strongly, by not giving any meaningful support at all.

The other argument, that the USA can't defend the entire world, is irrelevant. There is no need to. By emphatically defending allies or parties to security agreements now and then, preferably with other allies helping out or contributing financially, the need for such actions is greatly reduced overall. The converse is also true: If we prove worthless as an ally, weak, and untrustworthy, arms escalations and conflicts will break out everywhere. THAT we cannot stop, and it will certainly cause great damage to us. I presently expect, barring a strong President and US resurgence beginning in 2016, a minimum of a mid-level nuclear war by 2050. The one alternative outside of the US that might prevent such is a very rapid climb to global dominance by a Russian / Chinese alliance. I suppose that is a little better outcome than a nuclear war.

34 posted on 03/26/2014 4:29:34 AM PDT by Paul R. (Leftists desire to control everything; In the end they invariably control nothing worth a damn.)
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