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U.S. Politics: The Biggest Trade in WNBA History

Bolt the Cat

Bringing the Thunder
North Korea has a very large standing army so I wouldn't totally disregard them. That being said, it's questionable how well-equipped that army is, as well as how many people would just desert it the second they step onto foreign soil due to the atrocious conditions in North Korea. I genuinely have no idea how indoctrinated/brainwashed the average North Korean soldier is, but the fact that many of them chose to brave a literal minefield patrolled by death squads to defect to South Korea tells me that they're probably not all that loyal to their crazy dictator.

Oh no, I'm not saying North Korea isn't a threat, just that the other three dwarfs its threat. NK has some weapons, but it doesn't have a superpower level military or economy to the point where it would stand a large chance of conquering nearby countries (of course their only mainland neighbors are South Korea and China which limits their path to expansion, but even then I don't think they're quite equipped to invade other countries in the same way as Germany or Russia was). North Korea is far less likely to win an "us vs. the world" sort of world war than the other 3.

I don't think a three-way alliance between the U.S., Russia, and China is all that likely in the near future, even under a Republican regime. Republicans universally despise anything they think even remotely resembles communism (and a whole bunch of stuff that has literally nothing to do with communism but Tucker Carlson said it does so it's bad), so major Republican support for Russia and China is unlikely on that basis alone.

Some Republicans have disturbingly been coming out in support of Putin and Russia, more than just Trump, I don't put anything past them as the only thing they truly seem to care about is money and power. They opposed communism in the Cold War because they didn't want Marxist philosophy putting ideas of fairer compensation and worker power in people's heads, but times have changed. Russia is no longer communist (and really the countries we identify as "communist" in the present day have more in common with Hitler than Marx), and Republican policy isn't really resonating with U.S. citizens so they're turning to fascism to retain control. Russia, China, and NK are closer to what the Republicans aspire to be, so I can easily see them siding with that faction should they gain power.
 

Trainer Yusuf

VolcaniNO
Since there is a lot of disinformation about Ukraine, I think it might be better to clear some things up:
*Primary Russian target remains Eastern Ukraine and Odessa. Most of the actual war is happening there, because most of the Ukrainian troops are situated there, specifically the Azov guys. Russia's primary goal is to take the Black Sea ports and establish a land corridor to Transnistria.

*Secondary Russian target, Kiev, is being surrounded by all sides, but Russia's large convoys have not arrived yet. The current Russian troops situated are largely exploratory troops, which is why there is the illusion of Ukraine winning (yes, Russia is taking insane casualties, but remember, Russian troops' lives literally don't matter). This is another traditional Russian tactic learned from the Turkic peoples and Mongols, as it allows for tactical victory by increasing the casualties from the opposing side at the cost of your own cannon fodder. It worked in the previous Crimean War in the 19th century, it worked in WWII, and it will likely work here.

*While the official position of Russia is to install a pro-Russian regime in Ukraine, most likely outcome is really full annexation at this point. Without permanent Russian presence in Odessa (and I don't mean militarily, I mean demographic change), Russia cannot keep its presence in the Black Sea otherwise, which is absolutely vital for Russia to remain as a global hegemon.

*Russia will not bother with urban warfare, once they have strengthened their positions in the east and in the south, they will move to flattening cities, Chechnya-style. It is a tried and true Russia method of culling the insurgency, and since they are destroying historical buildings (historical RUSSIAN buildings in Ukraine, that is), that is the most likely outcome.

*If somehow Ukraine wins militarily, which is very unlikely, their first objective would be to ethnically cleanse Ukraine of its non-ethnic Ukrainian members, starting from ethnic Russians, then slowly moving on to all the other minorities, Yugoslav Wars-style. This is because the primary fighting force in Ukraine remains the Azov Battalion (since the actual army is busy defending the capital and civilians), and their international fascistic and Islamist allies. So, Zelensky, being Jewish, is kind of f*cked either way.

*The overall war is expected to last a few months, rather than a few weeks, but Ukraine will almost certainly fall by this year, and Russians will move to next target, which will likely be Georgia or Idlib, though that will likely take a few years since Russian economy will be in life support, kept alive by the Chinese. That is saying nothing on the brain drain that will happen in Russia due to internal repression.

Edit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Major_non-NATO_ally
I didn't post this before since I didn't know, but Biden has also declared Colombia a Major non-NATO ally. Biden previously named Qatar as a MNNA a month ago.

Next MNNA is expected to be UAE, though due to the invasion of Ukraine, Sweden and Finland apparently want MNNA status. US will not give them that, obviously, and instead will force them into NATO membership, just like they did with Georgia, Ukraine, and, to lesser extent, Moldova.

This has been a couple of good weeks for arms manufacturing side of US military expansionism, because neo-cons were proven right, which is a relative rarity.

On the whole NATO thing, it is likely Russia will force Serbia to invade Serbian parts of Bosnia and Kosovo, but how successful that will be depends on how the EU and UK can sufficiently bribe Serbia to turn away from Russia. If such a thing happens, US will likely seriously intervene, as Bosnia is the next prospective NATO member in the pipeline.

Edit 2:
Stoltenberg made an unconfirmed but huge personal claim about Russian strikes on NATO supplies violating Article 5. This claim is obviously farcical, since Stoltenberg will soon leave his position to become Norges Bank's governor (Central Bank of Norway, that is), but if it becomes true (and it will not), we are going to see a limited thermonuclear war (though that will likely happen in our lifetimes anyway). Oh joy.
 
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Litleonid

Well-Known Member
It absolutely disgusts me that there really isn't much hope for Ukraine and their freedom unless the west intervened significantly, though that would result in the true escalation to WWIII. There's been talks to de-escalate, but Putin is not going into these talks with them in good faith. He is beyond reason. In all his greed and delusions, he will not settle for anything short of Ukraine's surrender and them cutting all ties with the west. He truly is a disgusting excuse for a human being. That man will not stop until the Soviet Union and then some is re-established.
 

Captain Jigglypuff

Leader of Jigglypuff Army
I feel a bit sad for the average Russian citizen and soldiers. None of them wanted this war and the military officials lied to the soldiers and told them that they were going on a “drill” and they can’t really quit because of legal consequences. This is all Putin’s selfish desires. The Russians were perfectly happy letting the Ukraine have their own identity and no interest in reclaiming the land. It sort of like Taiwan and China’s relationship where China wants to reclaim Taiwan and say that the Taiwanese citizens want to be a part of China when that isn’t remotely true.
 

SBaby

Dungeon Master
I feel a bit sad for the average Russian citizen and soldiers. None of them wanted this war and the military officials lied to the soldiers and told them that they were going on a “drill” and they can’t really quit because of legal consequences. This is all Putin’s selfish desires. The Russians were perfectly happy letting the Ukraine have their own identity and no interest in reclaiming the land. It sort of like Taiwan and China’s relationship where China wants to reclaim Taiwan and say that the Taiwanese citizens want to be a part of China when that isn’t remotely true.
And if Putin manages to take Ukraine (and despite the war of attrition going on, it looks likely that this will happen at some point), China will probably make a bid for Taiwan before long. The difference being that China can put out a standing army that dwarfs Russia's army (I think someone mentioned a few years back that if they went all-out, China could potentially have a standing army of about 200 million, far more than any one military in the world could muster).

A side effect of all of this is that gas prices are going way up. In fact, gas prices are so high that Tom Brady came out of retirement.
 

bobjr

You ask too many questions
Staff member
Moderator
If anything I think this deters China only because of the mess it made and how much it would cost. If the demographics and optics change in a decade or so maybe, but with Taiwan you actively have to engage with the American military.

Plus there are secondary reasons for the oil cost, especially with the KSA mad he isn’t getting special treatment anymore that lets him murder people on US soil. Though this is letting us work out deals with Iran and Venezuela that are favorable to both sides, which will alleviate most short term issues.
 

SoHowAreYou

Well-Known Member
China is not served by an invasion of Taiwan. One it would crash the world economy, the US would intervene, because unlike Ukraine we have an alliance with them, and China may be able to hand 200 million rifles out to barely trained conscripts, but I would love to see the PLAN transport even 1% of that to Taiwan. In the end Taiwan is a fortress, and if China's big military partner Russia can't manage the logistics of an invasion 60 miles from friendly borders, how is China going to launch a maritime invasion?
 

Captain Jigglypuff

Leader of Jigglypuff Army
China isn’t really taking sides right now because they are afraid of retaliation from the US. North Korea I don’t think are getting involved for pretty much the same reason and they also don’t have anything to gain from the war. Putin screwed up big time and he definitely won’t be re-elected. The Russian citizens seem to be really upset that he made their nation look so bad now after two decades of trying to rebuild diplomatic relations and creating a more positive image than before.
 

masdog

What is the airspeed of an unladen Swellow?
China will probably make a bid for Taiwan before long. The difference being that China can put out a standing army that dwarfs Russia's army (I think someone mentioned a few years back that if they went all-out, China could potentially have a standing army of about 200 million, far more than any one military in the world could muster).
A large standing army means nothing when you don’t have the sealift capacity to get them across the Taiwan Straight and onto the beaches and keep them supplied. A military conquest of Taiwan would require a massive air campaign followed by a Normandy-scale operation across a narrow body of water. The casualties from that operation would be so massive that I don’t think China would risk it. Everyone would also see it coming and would have time to prepare.

Another thing to consider is that Taiwan is the leading producer of semiconductors. A good chunk of the microchip manufacturing that the global economy relies on, including China, are in Taiwan. Any military operation against Taiwan would result in these going offline, possibly permanently, and significantly hampering China’s technical capabilities. This is above and beyond any sanctions.

If China makes a move on Taiwan, it won’t be a direct military operation. It will be through subverting the government of Taiwan.
 

Litleonid

Well-Known Member
Well, looks like the Ukraine and Russia are getting into peace talks again today, though you know it won't go anywhere with Putin's ridiculous demands.
 

Captain Jigglypuff

Leader of Jigglypuff Army
Well, looks like the Ukraine and Russia are getting into peace talks again today, though you know it won't go anywhere with Putin's ridiculous demands.
Putin is the main problem and everyone knows it. Why is he so obsessed with the Ukraine when Boris Yeltsin and Dmitry Medvedev had shown no interest in getting it back after the Soviet collapse? He’s fighting a losing war where no one is willing to help him and it seems like the Russian army is starting to refuse to continue the war. I am so glad Trump is no longer in the White House because things would have been 10x worse with some secret agreement between him and Putin in action.
 
Well, looks like the Ukraine and Russia are getting into peace talks again today, though you know it won't go anywhere with Putin's ridiculous demands.
Putin: Please lose and let me punish you all for all this.
Zelenskyy: Wh-?! No.
Putin: *sigh* Fine then. Punishment it is. *turns around and makes a call* U-um, China? I need help. I can't deal with this comedian alo-
China: lol no.
 

SoHowAreYou

Well-Known Member
What are you saying? I'm sure that China would love to give Russia aid, that will go towards financing [insert stereotypical Russian name here]'s life threatening yacht addiction. No but seriously China may help Russia, but oh boy, the price they will extract will be brutal.
 
What are you saying? I'm sure that China would love to give Russia aid, that will go towards financing [insert stereotypical Russian name here]'s life threatening yacht addiction. No but seriously China may help Russia, but oh boy, the price they will extract will be brutal.
China's not an idiot. It gains nothing from aiding Russia but actually ends up losing too much economy by going against the US.

Only thing it gains from Russia is expired food and a lot of...onions.

https://www.reddit.com/r/ukraine/comments/tdg56b
 

SoHowAreYou

Well-Known Member
China's not an idiot. It gains nothing from aiding Russia but actually ends up losing too much economy by going against the US.

Depends on the aid, certainly Putins requests for weapons will almost certainly not be met. If China thinks they can get away with something like trucks I don't know if the US and EU would take actions against them. And long term China is probably going to try and take over Russia's economy since they are one of the few groups who still will be willing to do business with them once the current situation is over. And Russia is a petrostate, they need someone to sell too, and it will probably be China since Europe is beginning to realize depending on Russia is a bad idea.
 

Trainer Yusuf

VolcaniNO
Update on the Russo-Ukrainian war:

*Russia has already moved to Chechen phase of the war, and has been flattening cities, including the cities they captured to remove insurgency. They are also gradually getting rid of Ukrainian forests (by burning or chopping) to remove cover for Ukrainian insurgency. Ukraine is not mountainous, so these forests have been vital strategic importance for Ukrainian forces.

Most notably, Russia has started to deploy more recent armored vehicles and Iskander missile launchers.

Russian strategy has been compared to US strategy in Iraqi occupation, and while this is true, they are also utilizing strategies they used in the Soviet-Afghan war (taking over large cities, and roads, ignoring the countryside). This is because their command is constantly jammed, and they cannot get much reinforcement from the Bosphorus due to Turkish blockade. There is speculation that Putin might deliberately sending generals and lieutenants that have been in opposition to him to get rid of them, hence the large casualties from the Russian command.

*US is slowly giving more advanced weaponry for Ukraine, as they are moving for counteroffensive against Russians. It is still small compared to the ammunition they get from Europe and captured Russian weaponry.

US strategic plan in Ukraine seemingly remains to let Russia take over Ukraine (and presumably, and gradually, the rest of former USSR besides the Baltics), so they can send in CIA-backed far-right militias to fight a never-ending insurgency to bleed Russia, as opposed to, you know, giving proper ground-to-air anti-aircraft systems protect the legitimate government.

*Russia is planning to take Odessa from the Black Sea by an amphibian assault. Most of the civilian infrastructure there has been destroyed, and Ukrainian army's defence in South is pretty bad, so they will likely succeed.

*NATO is convening an Extraordinary Meeting on March 24, US is planning to use this opportunity to change European defense to their liking (read, sell more weapons).

*Nobody is expecting a peace deal in Ukraine until Russia takes over Kiev and Odessa at least. All the talks about "peace deals" have been ceasefire debates.

*Multiple Russian drones have dropped in the Eastern European airspace. The conflict is widely expected to spillover to Poland as well, as Russia is dependent on ballistic missiles to pound Ukraine.

Edit:
There are reports of Belarus possibly directly intervening in the Russia-Ukraine war, to cut off the Polish border. NATO has been supplying the Ukrainian border countries with Patriot systems.
 
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Captain Jigglypuff

Leader of Jigglypuff Army
North Korea is definitely not going to help Russia. From what I’ve heard, they all think Putin is insane and refuse to help him because of it. And you know if North Korea calls you crazy, things are really bad and that you’ve gone way too far. But I have to admit that I find the irony of the situation hilarious especially since Kim Jung-un outlawed making international phone calls and all music not made in North Korea.
 

SoHowAreYou

Well-Known Member
Bluntly I am starting to think that this invasion will not even get past the initial invasion stage. As far as I know beside destroying more cities the Russian military hasn't made meaningful progress. I heard that there were going to be landings at Odessa, but that was 2 days ago. Perhaps the Russian Navy remembered that historically they are best know for their immense screw ups, and aren't very good at their jobs. Poland may send an expedition to fight the Russians which would go through them like a scythe through wheat, but even if they don't, reducing a city to rubble won't actually kill everyone in it, and a destroyed city is still defensible terrain. This is assuming that Russia can supply enough munitions to level a city without resorting to nuclear or (for depopulation) chemical weapons, which is suspect at this time. Plus the Ukrainian military is still active so shelling a city could result in even more losses to counter battery fire. Like Russia has lost at least 6000 men, probably more, including several high ranking officers, and that's just the dead ones. A lot are probably injured. In addition they have lost several hundred tanks and trucks, like I don't think they can continue this much longer before the Russian army breaos itself.
 

Captain Jigglypuff

Leader of Jigglypuff Army
The Russian soldiers themselves are pretty much refusing to fight and only do the bare minimum of obedience and they seem to know the invasion is a losing battle. The Ukrainians are fighting back harder than Putin probably expected them to do and no one can blame them. The irony of Kim Jung-un calling Putin “too insane” and that’s why they refuse to help him is just hilarious when you remember that Kim Jung-un has enacted several ridiculous laws in his own country and made it illegal for anyone to have the same haircut as him. Putin is now officially more insane than the guy who made having the same name as him illegal.
 
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