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2 hours ago, Josh said:

I simply don't think the US Administration enters into any of Putin's calculations. I doubt Putin is concerned with Biden's opinion one way or the other, for the same reasons you state: there is nothing the US could do to stop Russia from invading.

I said that if Russia attacks Ukraine the US is placed on the horns of a dilemma.  If they back down they look weak, if they intervene they risk escalation beyond any possible valid interest in Ukraine.  I also said that if Trump had won in 2020, that this would not be happening.  You voted for Biden knowing full well the risks you were taking.

If the reports of 150,000 Russian troops on the Ukrainian are true, that feels like war is likely even if Ukraine does not attack the Donbass.  I get that vibe because 70,000 troops would have been enough to signal 'don't do it'.

 

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45 minutes ago, glenn239 said:

I said that if Russia attacks Ukraine the US is placed on the horns of a dilemma.  If they back down they look weak, if they intervene they risk escalation beyond any possible valid interest in Ukraine.  I also said that if Trump had won in 2020, that this would not be happening.  You voted for Biden knowing full well the risks you were taking.

If the reports of 150,000 Russian troops on the Ukrainian are true, that feels like war is likely even if Ukraine does not attack the Donbass.  I get that vibe because 70,000 troops would have been enough to signal 'don't do it'.

 

I’m not particularly worried about the US looking weak and I’m unconcerned with Biden’s actions. I honestly don’t know what specific Biden policy you have an issue with because you’ve failed to ever specify what you objected to and I am unaware of the US making any tangible commitment to the Ukraine. I also don’t understand why you think Trump would have somehow waved a magic wand and prevented this build up from occurring. The build seems completely divorced from any US policy and more tightly bound to Zelensky's recent policies.

We can agree that the current Russian deployment is sufficiently large that an invasion is likely regardless of what the Ukrainians do. The large number of naval units from all over the hemisphere indicates to me they intend to move along the coast of the Black Sea and that this will go further than merely annexation of Donetsk. It couldn't have been easy to move those 30-40 year old LSTs from the Baltic and Northern fleets.

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8 hours ago, KV7 said:

If there is a war, it is, from the perspective of world peace, best if Ukraine quickly folds, and no one is tempted to try and swing the conflict against Russia via some sort of serious escalation.

Absolutely.

Wars could be completely bloodless and short, would it not be for the pesky defenders to resist aggression. It's nothing new; v. Clausewitz noted that once that their goals are achieved, aggressors become defenders and vigorously propose peace negotiations.

Brilliant. You just found the formula for world peace.

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5 hours ago, KV7 said:

Exactly. They are more useful for locating large concentrations in the rear, fuel depots, less mobile air defense assets etc. which might be targeted by aviation or SRBM or long range MLRS.  But Ukraine would struggle to pull of such attacks I think, beyond those with SRBM.

What SRBM types do they possess? Presumably old Soviet models?

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On 4/17/2021 at 2:28 AM, Stuart Galbraith said:

If you look at the Georgian campaign, they did a similar 'hail mary' with an amphibious landed Airborne Battlegroup. It wouldnt take much to pull reinforcements off the main offensive.

Just a pure guess on my part of course. But it partly explains the presence of 76th Airborne in Crimea. It will be interesting to see if the Ropucha docks there.

Russian WW2 amphibious operations targeting the Crimea and Novorossiysk come to mind as well.

I still think a landing east of Odessa would be bold as hell. But I now see the stakes are strategic, as in the cutting off the Ukraine from the Black Sea. Permanently.

Talk about a plan meant to end the war by Christmas. I like it.

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I don’t think they will go that far. That’s a lot of urban areas to eat up, including Odessa itself. Plus that is a very deep penetration to support an amphibious op.

I think there will be an amphibious component as a supporting moves to help the forces in Crimea break out across their narrow fronts and possibly to support the forces rolling to (and eventually from) Mariupol, but trying to land troops on the far side of the Dneiper is a hopeless task for their level of amphibious lift IMO. 

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If political situation continues to deterioate, Russia will attempt to secure land bridge to Crimea and as far as the Dneipr River. If all goes well, they will secure all of Ukraine east of the Dneipr and threaten Kiev. Ukraine becomes a weak  rump state and buffer zone. 

Offensive will be mainly land based on multiple axes with airborne/air assault support. Sea insertion possible but based on how much of a fight the Ukies put up. 

My 2 cents.

 

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