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Zero Sum Games

Off topic, because gun news is thin on the ground today. Obama’s statements on the Ukraine situation boggle the mind. I’d like to think there’s some kind of dastardly brilliant plan behind all this, but the only plan it looks like to me is this one.

The United States does not view Europe as a battleground between East and West, nor do we see the situation in Ukraine as a zero-sum game. That’s the kind of thinking that should have ended with the Cold War.

You sure Putin views things the same way, Barry? Because it looks to me like he’s not agreeing this type of thinking ended with the Cold War. Look, we all know that we’re not going to war over Ukraine, and I’m not suggesting we should. But you at least need to make a show of it so he knows there’s lines, real lines, that he can’t cross. Like Poland and Estonia. And not that I really want him drawing any lines, since that hasn’t worked out to well for this Administration. This kind of obliviousness is how big wars start.

UPDATE: Not the only person who noticed this one.

9 Responses to “Zero Sum Games”

  1. mike says:

    Last I heard, European countries had their own militaries – and some even have nukes. It’ll be good if the end result of all of this is that they become more willing to rely on themselves. Hopefully a weak Barry results in a stronger Europe, and not a whine-session that Team America World Police isn’t doing enough or “let so and so happen” or whatever.

    A stronger Europe makes the world safer, IMHO. And maybe a weak Barry prompts Europe to enstrongen itself. If not, then I suppose there will be a lesson in there down the road. Regardless, I’m not terribly upset about Russia annexing part of Ukraine. And heck, I’ve never even been to Estonia or Poland.

    When I lived in Eastern Europe, the Ukranians were viewed like some view Mexicans here – cheap unskilled labor that live 10 to a room and were “takin’ our jobs” from the locals. I wonder if that doesn’t contribute to a lack of concern in parts of Europe.

    • Sebastian says:

      That’s kind of what I’m hoping will be the silver lining in all this, but I’m not sure the European countries have the will to increase their defense budgets dramatically. We really don’t want the fallback to be the need to use nuclear weapons.

      • aerodawg says:

        The Euros are caught between a rock and a hard place. They’ve used their last 50 years securely stationed under Uncle Sugar’s military umbrella to expand their welfare states to the max.

        They’re already tapped out in terms of tax revenue so in order to increase defense spending they have to cut the welfare state. How well do you think that will go over with the European arm of the FSA that’s accustomed to getting all their handouts? Not very well I’d expect.

        There are some that postulate recent events will ultimately result in the effective end of NATO as an effective military alliance in anything but a nuclear sense for those reasons and I’m not certain they’re wrong. We’re unwilling to cover the Euros any more and they’re unable to cover themselves.

        At the same time, is it really in the best interest of the US to be entangled in an alliance where the one an only option in the event of an attack is to push the little red button? I’m not certain it is…

        • Geodkyt says:

          Aerodawg’s right. Unless Europe goes Zero to Jackboots all of a sudden (such as in response to an Iranian nuclear attack on a European city), they will not be able to pull themselves off the welfare teat.

  2. Joe Huffman says:

    Most of Europe already has serious economic problems. Increasing their defense budgets is not going to be feasible.

    I can see it turning into falling dominos.

  3. RP says:

    I understand wanting our allies to be more responsible for their own defense. But historically Europeans are some war-lovin’ SOBs. Europe arming up makes me a little uneasy.

    Its been 70 years since we’ve seen a significant conflict between advanced militaries. That might be the longest streak in human history. I think America as World Police is the reason for that.

  4. Archer says:

    I was watching the news last night (I don’t remember which channel/network) but one of the talking heads said that the Obama Administration should have made the Russian invasion of Crimea a “red line.”

    Seriously, hand to God, they said that.

    As if the Obama Administration doesn’t already have a … “questionable” … history regarding “red line” issues.

  5. Jeremiah says:

    Couple of thoughts on the situation and what it means for us.

    One, a Europe that has to ratchet up its war capability will have to reduce its welfare/social programs to do it. This may cause European powers to collapse, which might drag the Russian Bear down with financial difficulties. On the other hand, this may actually reduce the dole, and help Europe become more independent. This reduces our military costs, and shows there is a finite and real limit to the European model of socialism. It would probably be the end of European socialism.

    Two, Ukraine gave up its nuclear weapons on the condition of respect for its borders with the assurances of Russia, UK, and USA (Budapest Memorandum). Given the USA has, more or less, just capitulated on this agreement, all assurances on any gun control with the “just trust us” or other bland assurances are obviously false. (not that we didn’t understand that already) Agreements with individuals (citizen or not) are clearly not going to be upheld if the Federal Gov’t won’t uphold an agreement between powers. This might be the more far-reaching consequence.

    I know the agreement wasn’t (and obviously isn’t) binding, it gives us ammunition to use against our opponents. They can’t argue that a government that won’t adhere to agreements can’t be trusted. As for Europe- let them self determine. I am for letting them sort the next war out on their own. It certainly is of their own making.

  6. Jef says:

    Not only does Putin still live in the 18th century, China has also started with the “All I want is this little island here, and that little island over there, and this air defense interdiction zone here.” Probably because of oil. We did send a force of Marines to Australia to show our resolute opposition to their aggression, and we gave/sold a about to be scrapped destroyer to the Philippines.

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