Debate:Will NATO survive a Russian/Chinese attack?

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Both Russia and China are becoming aggressive day by day by increasing their military budget and inceasing military hardware. Russia has already occupied portions of Georgia and Ukraine, and now eyeing for Latvia and Lithuania by preparing to fund and organize separatist movements. On the other hand, NATO countries are increasingly diminishig their military capability and reducing defense spending. In 2015, UK and Germany, two major NATO contributors, will reduce defense budget. This means the burden goes to the US to defend NATO.

Russia has already unveiled the Tu-160M stratejic bomber against which countries like the UK has no defence. Recently Russia threated to nuclear bomb Danish warships. Russia abandoned nuclear no-first strike policy in 1993 which means Russia can use its nuclear missile at any NATO member even if not attacked by nuclear weapon.

In such a situation, even the US does not have any defence against Russian nuclear weapons. Since the US is not actively working on a missile defense program, a nuclear war means it will wipe out the US.

So the questions arise,

1. is NATO well-equipped to deter a Russian, Chinese or joint Russian-Chinese military aggression?

2. Will NATO be able to defend its cities from being destroyed by Russian nuclear weapons?

3. Is NATO capable of preventing Russian expantionism like that happened in Crimea?



The (to me at least) fairly simple and obvious answers are, respectively:

  1. Yes
  2. No
  3. N/A (NATO is not in the business of preventing Russian "expansionism", unless it impinges on the territory of a NATO state)

And with an added caution against going into hyperbolic fear mongering territory, considering the HUGE NATO arsenals of any weapon type (mostly due to the humongous scale of the U.S. armed forces) compared with any single or combination of hypothetical opponents. Furthermore, what is China doing in the same category as Russia? An armed conflict with Russia is extremely unlikely, but one with China is outright implausible (what would the objective be and what would any of the sides gain?), especially one involving NATO (wrong theatre, it'd be the U.S. solo, or heading an ad hoc coalition). ScepticWombat (talk) 13:21, 22 March 2015 (UTC)

Russia's nuclear arsenal is larger than that of the US. --LobPo (talk) 15:00, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
Having more nukes is a moot point when were talking the numbers the west and russia/china have.--Miekal 15:22, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
"Russia's nuclear arsenal is larger than that of the US" No, it's notWikipedia and you'd have to add the (admittedly limited number of) nukes of the UK and France to arrive at the total for NATO anyway. Also, as Miekal pointed out: Due to the scale of U.S./Russian nuclear arsenal, even if the U.S. was slightly behind (and it's not) the difference wouldn't be significant because of the absolute number of nukes. ScepticWombat (talk) 15:41, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
Yes, it is. That chart in Wikipedia is wrong.
the United States and Canada provided 80% of funds for scrapping the older Typhoon-class submarines, making it much more economical to build a new submarine when will US stop funding Russia to build nuclear subs?
Do you want the autocratic strongman who does not recognize any concepts like civil liberties or the First Amendmenment, and fire judges for giving judgement not in his favour to hoist his fiefdom's flag over the White House and rewrite American constitution the way he want? Rhetoric apart, it will be too late if the US does not act immediately on a comprehensive missile defense system. --LobPo (talk) 15:58, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
LobPo, your numbers include warheads which "are retired and awaiting dismantlement." If you actually checked the original source you'd find that the U.S. "military stockpile" leads the Russian by 4760 to 4300. Look up fear mongering again, will ya'? ScepticWombat (talk) 16:12, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
And while I'm in correction mode, LobPo's claim about the Tupolev Tu-160Wikipedia is from that bastion of credibility credulity the Daily Mail and so outrageous that it's debunked even in the article's comment section (clue: the TU-160 is an almost 30 year-old plane, it's top speed is a "dash" speed, while its cruising speed is less than half that, and anyway the U.K. could simply shoot it down with surface-to-air missilesWikipedia (e.g. the ship-based Sea DartWikipedia or the land-based RapierWikipedia), rather than chasing them down with their fighters which, contrary to the Daily Mail's claim, still appears absolutely feasible). ScepticWombat (talk) 16:38, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
You know, im pretty sure they said the same thing about a missle defense system during the cold war, and yet here we are, the american flag (godawful as it is) sitting atop the white house. --Miekal 16:34, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
It is because USSR collapsed by itself for its faulty economic system. Modern Russia is not Soviet Union, Russia has an efficent econmic system to sustain the military. --LobPo (talk) 16:56, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
I think you're overestimating The New Russia. As well, the east knows they have little to gain from sparking either a new cold war or world war 3. It just isn't going to happen, no matter what manly man moves putin wants to make. --Miekal 16:58, 22 March 2015 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Post-Soviet Russia is economically efficient and stable? Evidence, please. And how does economic efficiency relate to military might? 32℉uzzy, 0℃atPotato (talk/stalk) 17:10, 22 March 2015 (UTC)

"Modern Russia is not Soviet Union, Russia has an efficent econmic system to sustain the military." You're right, it's not, but no it hasn't. Putin's Russia can't "over-invest" in the military in the way the USSR did and while Russia got rid of the shambles that was the Soviet planned economy, it's still primarily an exporter of raw materials (and to a lesser extent guns) which under Putin has been buoyed up by high oil prices, but whose unsophisticated economy is now in problems due to the combination of flagging oil prices and U.S. and EU sanctions which bite far harder in Russia than do the Russian boycotts of U.S./EU goods. ScepticWombat (talk) 17:24, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
Russia has an "efficient economic system"? Ho Ho! It's lack of one is one of the things that could make it unstable.--Bob"I think you'll find it's more complicated than that." 17:31, 22 March 2015 (UTC)

But why[edit]

I'm going to start off by being pedantic. Firstly, I guess the author meant to write "would NATO survive ..." rather than "will" Secondly "NATO" is a military alliance - it's not a country. But, more interestingly, I'm intrigued by the idea of using nuclear weapons against warships. Why? There are many ship-to-ship missiles, air-launched conventional missiles, cruses missiles and torpedoes which could do the job much cheaper and with a lot less political risk than a nuclear weapon. Does this weird, and obviously exaggerated, threat indicate weakness on Russia's part?--Bob"I think you'll find it's more complicated than that." 14:18, 22 March 2015 (UTC)

Launching nukes against ships means you don't necessarily need to even hit the ship to sink it. Conventional missiles can be shot down before they hit while either an air burst nuke or the shock wave from an underwater nuclear blast is pretty much impossible to guard against. However, as you point out, that's a purely tactical military evaluation, and the political/strategic downsides more than makes up for such "convenience/efficiency" arguments. It should be noted, though, that the reasoning behind Russia's threats is yet another round in the missile shield débâcle and that the ships are an element in a variant of that system. What worries the Russians is that any potential reduction in their nuclear deterrent, even one as dubious as the missile shield's semi-practical offspring, has a huge impact on Russian power vis-a-vis the U.S. and NATO given that Russia lacks far behind in conventional weaponry (especially in quantity, but also in quality). ScepticWombat (talk) 15:55, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
Sure of course you can use a nuke against a ship - it's just politically risky overkill. Anyway nukes can, in fact, also be shot down in the same way as any other weapon. That is why missile shields are a topic.
In fact you could destroy an individual tank with a nuke - my point is that it sounds like a pretty empty threat. It's easier and cheaper to do these things conventionally.
In practical terms they are not going to do it. So why make this empty threat?--Bob"I think you'll find it's more complicated than that." 16:50, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
It's a signal about exactly how unacceptable the Russians find the U.S. missile shield progeny. Don't overthink this kind of sabre rattling in terms of practicality. ScepticWombat (talk) 17:17, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
I'm just saying that such absurd, transparent saber-rattling does nothing for their credibility.--Bob"I think you'll find it's more complicated than that." 17:21, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
Again, the Russians are talking to Danish politicians not trying to cow Danish naval officers. Saying that you'll target a ship with nukes gets far more press than saying you'll point a missile at it (politicians could point to AEGIS and similar systems to play down a conventional missile threat). To me, the Danish debate has illustrated a couple of things:
  1. Danish politicians either don't seem to realise or simply ignore why Russia fears the scaled back version of the missile shield (the protestations to the contrary, the claim about it being a defence against ISIS or Iran are a bit difficult to stomach)
  2. Danish politicians either don't seem to realise or simply ignore that this Russian threat is the logical outcome of Danish involvement in the ABM shield, just as the Danish early warning radar on Bornholm was at the top of the (literal) tactical nuclear hitlist in the Soviet WWIII scenarios during the Cold War.
  3. That the Russians either don't understand how this would be received (pretty unlikely IMO) in Denmark, or that this was not meant solely for Danish consumption (I don't see how this would work, but it's possible), that it was a case of Hanlon's razor with an ambassador acting beyond the call of duty (don't think so, but it's possible), or that it was a last long shot signalling how impotent Russia is when trying to pressure even a tiny NATO country such as Denmark.
The final point illustrates both how crude and ineffective Russian public diplomacy has become, but perhaps also how Putin tries to keep up the strongman posturing as part of his domestic tough guy image. ScepticWombat (talk) 17:40, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
Then we are saying - more or less - the same thing. It's a silly threat that nobody will really believe.--Bob"I think you'll find it's more complicated than that." 17:47, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
(Some) Danish politicians and (part of) the Danish populace might believe it. I don't know how much insight the average member of either category has into the issues we've just discussed. ScepticWombat (talk) 18:24, 22 March 2015 (UTC)

Too much burden on the US[edit]

European allies are not committing 2% of GDP in defense spending, this is mounting pressure on the US. In fact, the bulk of NATO strength comes from the US military. Should NATO allies be more committed? --LobPo (talk) 15:07, 22 March 2015 (UTC)

Why would they need to be? We cut butcher our defense GDP spending and still be top dog alone. --Miekal 15:23, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
How? --LobPo (talk) 16:00, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
Succeeding U.S. governments have long had an ambivalent attitude towards European military spending: One the one hand, they'd like Europeans to foot more of the bills (especially in funding the U.S. military-industrial complex), on the other hand, U.S. governments like to have the Europeans dependent on U.S. military power and unable to act without the U.S. Also, there is no "mounting pressure on the US" (pressure for what?), unless LobPo means the pressure stemming from its own military-industrial complex to develop yet more esoteric weaponry which have hit a rough patch given that the public purse is not exactly brimming. ScepticWombat (talk) 16:03, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
SW, you are clearly for reducing western democracies' defensive ability. What purpose does it serve? --LobPo (talk) 16:07, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
No, because, unlike you apparently, I realise that NATO is more militarily powerful, by orders of magnitudes, than Russia - whether you count conventional weapons or nukes. Pointing out this fact is not arguing for disarmament, just in case this wasn't blatantly obvious. I'm a bit fascinated by your Cold War-style Russkie-baiting, which is several decades out of date. ScepticWombat (talk) 16:17, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
There is nothing irrational to fear Russian expansionism given Russia's actions in Georgia and Ukraine. It is a resurgent Russia that is trying to establish hegemonic supremacy in the Baltic. What these Poles are doing is not Russia-baiting. --LobPo (talk) 16:27, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
And it isn't going to. It can't even properly annex the one country in the world that hasn't gotten over wanting to be Russia. --Miekal 16:32, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
What is irrational is citing the examples of Russia's strong-arming "isolated" states on it's borders by creating or exploiting "frozen conflicts"Wikipedia as a case for a more or less inevitable NATO/Russia showdown. The reason Russia acted against Ukraine and Georgia was to avoid them being added to NATO. As for the Poles that's simply a result of historical memories as well as a result of fear mongering. ScepticWombat (talk) 16:44, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
What right Russia possess to prevent a country from being a NATO member? And on what international law Russia attacks another country because it wants to join an international military alliance? Or is it that Russia wants the Baltic states to be its satellites? --LobPo (talk) 16:51, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
The same right we had to decide which countries we wanted to turn commie during the cold war?--Miekal 16:56, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
What right does the U.S. have to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons? What right does the U.S. have to impose sanctions on Cuba? What right did the U.S. have to deny the deployment of nuclear missiles in Cuba? Etc. etc. etc. It's called defending your (perceived) geo-strategic and national security position. ScepticWombat (talk) 17:01, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
False analogy. Cuba is a totalitatarian dictatorship, Iran is a oppressive theocracy. Baltic states are not pariah states like Iran or Cuba. --LobPo (talk) 17:08, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
But from my point of view, the Jedi are evil?--Miekal 17:11, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
Joking is not always funny. --LobPo (talk) 17:15, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
Ok, so when did Cuba become a pariah state to anybody but america? Even my canadian friends look at cuba and go "nice vacation spot"--Miekal 17:18, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
Cuba is a pariah state to any sane person who values freedom and a good standard of living. --LobPo (talk) 17:19, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
So america is the arbiter of whether a country is good or bad? --Miekal 17:21, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
No, but it is because of America the world was not conquered by Nazism and Communism, and because America ranks high on most international indices related to democracy, civil liberties, freedom of speech and expression etc. etc. and provides security cover to the countries which are high on such indices like Norway or Switzerland. Contrast it with etho-nationalism, authoritarian ideologies and theocracies. --LobPo (talk) 17:28, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
Yes, we saved the world from those evil commies by alternatively installing a few democracies and then supporting the hell out of some super oppressive regimes who were willing to oppress in the name of the dollar and not the hammer.--Miekal 18:12, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
It's not 'because of America' that the world was not conquered by Nazism. Many peoples fought side by side and I find it quite disrespectful towards the many British, Polish, Canadian, Russian (etc. etc. etc.) soldiers who fought and died to say something like that. (Tell Me What To Think) and (I'll tell you what to feel) 17:37, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
Hey LobPo, if anyone bears the larger share of defeating Hitler it's exactly those totalitarian Communists headed by Stalin. Do a body count of how many soldiers of the Third Reich were lost on the Eastern vs. the Western Front. It's this (outrageously costly) victory which led to the ambiguous legacy of Papa Joe in Russia (the "other half" was of course his totalitarian dictatorship in general and the Purges in particular).
And excuse me, but since when did Cuba become "totalitarian"? Sure it's an authoritarian dictatorship, but the pragmatic Castro-style "dollar Communism" is hardly a Stalinist regime (unless you ask some very specific sectors of the U.S. political spectrum).
Also, the rather rosy version of U.S. "force for good" history LobPo provides becomes highly problematic when it tries to "Contrast it with etho-nationalism, authoritarian ideologies and theocracies":
  1. While the U.S. isn't narrowly ethno-nationalistic it's own brand of "land of the free home of the brave"-jingoism can and has generated a similar style of national chauvinism.
  2. Given U.S. support for authoritarian regimes (e.g. the coup in Chile, the Greek Colonels, the coups in Guatemala and Iran etc. etc.) following the "He may be a son of a bitch but he's our son of a bitch"-dictum, I really don't see this as a particularly convincing argument.
  3. And finally, given that currently the U.S. is practically the only Western state where theocracy sympathisers are taken seriously by any major political party, I don't think bantering the theocracy bogeyman about in this context is very smart either.
Sorry LobPo, but your arguments so far leave me singularly unconvinced and not about to go into "ONOZ! Putin's gonna rape me in my sleep while Xi Jinping lurks under the bed!!!11!"-mode. ScepticWombat (talk) 18:45, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
Certainy they are not mad. [1] --LobPo (talk) 16:39, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
"it is because of America the world was not conquered by Nazism." Jesus Christ, you're an idiot. I got 25 million dead Soviet citizens that will tell you who defeated the Nazis. The Americans and the rest of the Western allies helped. Peace. AgingHippie (talk) 17:43, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
AH, you forget that dead men tell no tales - that's probably why LobPo hasn't heard about it... ScepticWombat (talk) 18:47, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
But have you noted where Russia (i.e. Putin) isn't fanning the Heim ins ReichWikipedia-style propaganda among Russian minorities? That's right in NATO member states, incl. the three small Baltic republics. Sure, the former Warsaw Pact now NATO member states are worried. Given their history anything less would be odd. I view this kind of pamphleteering as a way to try to calm the public hysteria which has been gripping Lithuania due to the Ukraine war. Understandable, as I've already said, but nevertheless probably overblown. ScepticWombat (talk) 16:56, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
Please try to understand Russia's plan. --LobPo (talk) 17:13, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
Please try to make arguments in your own words.--Bob"I think you'll find it's more complicated than that." 17:29, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
NATO is long-past its best-before date. Let Europe sort out their own problems like adults. Surely they've been countries for long enough that they don't need the US or Canada to fix their problems anymore. Peace. AgingHippie (talk) 17:31, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
How long do you think it will take for Putin to pull mistreated Russian minorities in NATO-countries out of his hat instead of "almost-NATO" (Ukraine and Georgia) countries (there's much potential for stirring up trouble among the Russian population in the Baltic states, especially in Estonia or Lithuania)? If not for Russia's support for the Eastern Ukrainian separatists and their conquest of Crimea, there would be no so-called "Ukraine-crisis". And calling the NATO obsolete is ignoring it's role in Kosovo (the blue helmets were of no use. Again.) and abolishing the NATO is like handing him the "wayward" former Soviet republics on a silver platter (if someone would've suggested Russia doing what it did, they would've being screamed down as "Cold Warriors" or some such crap). I'm not suggesting for war against Russia (no-one except the extreme fringe of the fringe of the fringe wants that, there'd be too much to loose for EVERYONE and I'm not even talking about WWIII, that'd be just fucking suicide), but also no neo-isolationist head-in-the-sand policies or dismantlement of the NATO as you suggested.--Arisboch (talk) 18:08, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
I really don't care who runs the former Soviet republics. And of course Putin will play the minority card, much like the West plays the terrorism card or the Iranian nukes card of the WMD card. States that fall within the Russian sphere of influence need to work out a modus vivendi. Peace. AgingHippie (talk) 18:18, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
We've been countries a lot longer than the United States or Canada, thank you very much. (Tell Me What To Think) and (I'll tell you what to feel) 17:42, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
Well some of you. "Slovakia," "Bosnia" and a few other places haven't been nation-states for very long. But, yeah, that's kind of my point. Europe should know what it's doing by now and be able to fix its own problems. I could care less who runs Crimea or Ukraine or Latvia or Lithuania. Not our problem. Peace. AgingHippie (talk) 17:46, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
There's not a continent in the world able to fix its own problems; the way you speak about Europe being 'adult' now or that it 'should know what it's doing by now' seems to imply that the US (assuming you are an US citizen) does know what it's doing in contrast to those silly Europeans. Kind of reminds me of the way my dad spoke to me when I'd just turned eightteen: well meaning maybe, but slightly condescending. And lastly, I don't see why it would matter if a country is a nation state or not. The US has never been one (Tell Me What To Think) and (I'll tell you what to feel) 17:57, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
My argument is exactly the opposite--I don't think America knows what it's doing in contrast to Europe. The only people who know how to deal with Europe's problems are Europeans. They created those problems, and they can fix them. No need for American help, especially considering the fact that America is in no way disinterested in European affairs, and will do what's best for the US, not for Europe. Peace. AgingHippie (talk) 18:05, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
Then we're on the same page (Tell Me What To Think) and (I'll tell you what to feel) 18:13, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
@AH: If NATO is overdue, what's the alt? FuzzyCatTomato (talk/stalk) 18:15, 22 March 2015 (UTC)

But first...[edit]

Why would Russia and China (in the unlikely situation that they'd work together in a military alliance) attack a country in the NATO? What good would there be in it for them to start a devastating war? (Tell Me What To Think) and (I'll tell you what to feel) 16:10, 22 March 2015 (UTC)

Because dem Bad Baddies lookin' to kill us all.--Miekal 16:35, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
Indeed. It is impossible to "win" a nuclear war.--Bob"I think you'll find it's more complicated than that." 16:51, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
Russian expansionism don't ya' know?! LobPo said so! As for China, eeehh... No, not even LobPo has so far been able to come up with a reason. Something involving Taiwan, probably; or some form of Yellow Peril containment-thingamajig. ScepticWombat (talk) 17:10, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
I am not the only person saying so. --LobPo (talk) 17:17, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
So if i get a news source to say russia wont make any more moves, does this also make it so?--Miekal 17:20, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
The Economist wouldn't ever stoop to fear mongering and has always proved such a reliable oracular new source, right? Also, the Economist article cited is quite explicit in emphasising that Putin doesn't want a direct confrontation with NATO, but instead (by necessity) seeks an indirect route. What is both paradoxical and hilarious is that the sort of U.S. (and to a lesser extent European) right-wingers who now bang the drum most loudly about "the Russian bear" tend to be those who also share Putin's conservative social values (which some of them until recently praised him for, e.g. his homophobic legislation)... ScepticWombat (talk) 17:52, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
I'm not social conservative. That is why I am concerned about increasing international influence of authoritatarian regimes which obviously espouse social conservative policies. --LobPo (talk) 17:54, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
Also, Conservapedia has no problem with Russia annexing Crimea. Read that article in Conservapedia. --LobPo (talk) 17:58, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
Nobody cares what Conservapedia says unless they're looking for a cheap laugh. Are you an American? If so, direct your attention to people being held at Guantanamo without trial, drone strikes in Yemen, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, the continued social, political, and economic marginalization of African Americans, the steady growth of executive power in the American political system, and staggering economic inequality. Then worry about Russia. Peace. AgingHippie (talk) 18:01, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
"Not as bad as" as a diversionary tactic...--Arisboch (talk) 18:11, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
I'm not saying "not as bad as" as much as I'm saying that 1.These are issues where the activism of US-Ameericans might actually make a difference; and 2. Dude is basing part of his argument on US moral superiority, which opens up claims of such as germane to the case. If that moral superiority isn't there, it kicks a leg out from under his table. Peace. AgingHippie (talk) 18:15, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
That's still "Not as bad as", in an extended form of the old Soviet And you are lynching NegroesWikipedia "argument"--Arisboch (talk) 18:25, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
The guy made a claim about America being suited to take the lead on an issue based on its moral fitness for doing so. It's not a fallacy to point out that such an argument is based on a flawed reading of the situation. He brought America's political morality into the debate. I didn't. Peace. AgingHippie (talk) 18:42, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
I still don't see, why the US has become a damn heaven on Earth to have some kind of ominous moral license to counter Putin's grab for the former Soviet republics (No, I don't see the US as a heaven on Earth and LobPo doesn't, either).--Arisboch (talk) 18:53, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
That's a reductio ad absurdum. A central pillar in LobPo's argument (as AH pointed out) is the good old American exceptionalism and that if it wasn't for Uncle Sam the whole world would have gone to hell in a hand basket. Pointing out that this is BS is not a defence of Putin by playing the "Not as bad as"-card. If anything, it's pointing out a flaw in LobPo's argument/justification by using a "Not as good as you think" counter-argument. ScepticWombat (talk) 18:59, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
I've never said the US is heaven. We should focus on current situation instead of digging history. The comment I made regarding Nazism was a passing comment. Focus on current international rankings. --LobPo (talk) 19:19, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
Every situation mentioned ( people being held at Guantanamo without trial, drone strikes in Yemen, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, the continued social, political, and economic marginalization of African Americans, the steady growth of executive power in the American political system, and staggering economic inequality) is happening right now, not in the past. Peace. AgingHippie (talk) 19:28, 22 March 2015 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Yes, the And you are lynching NegroesWikipedia argument again. How creative. --Arisboch (talk) 07:36, 23 March 2015 (UTC)

No, because it's not used to excuse Russian or Chinese violations (as I read it, AH simply suggested that instead of American exceptionalism-based fear mongering fantasies about WWIII, it might be prudent to fix U.S. domestic problems before engaging in an arms race which was silly during the Cold War and now is outright ludicrous since it's essentially an imaginary enemy based on incorrect assessment of Russian/Chinese military strength vis-a-vis NATO/the U.S.).
I do enjoy the unintended irony in Arisboch posting his dismissal just above a rather clear-cut example of "Not as bad as" by the OP ("Guantamano violates the principle of innocent until proven guilty, but it is miniscule compared to massive amount of human rights violations take place in authoritatarian regimes" - see my response below it as to why I find this a bit unconvincing). ScepticWombat (talk) 08:37, 23 March 2015 (UTC)
Guantamano violates the principle of innocent until proven guilty, but it is miniscule compared to massive amount of human rights violations take place in authoritatarian regimes. Regarding drone strikes, the US should be more careful to ensure the targets are invoved in terror activities. Marginalization of African-Americans is a perception. Economic inequality is natural outcome of labor-division-based market economy. How do you expect all people to earn the same amount of money? People earn according to the responsibility they take. In terms of overall political freedom, civil liberties, human rights record, US is part of the liberal world comprising Europe, most of North and South America, oceania, Japan, South Korea, part of South-East Asia, Israel and South Africa. These countries actively campaign for human freedom in the international level as evidenced by the UN resolution on LGBT rights which was opposed by many countries. I have never seen any well-known person from Russia or China holding constitutional post to raise voice in favour of human freedom. In the US, you have your right to express your dissatisfaction with the government by burning the national flag, but in Russia or China they will send you in jail if you burn their national flag. This is what separates US from Russia or China. --LobPo (talk) 04:24, 23 March 2015 (UTC)
Apparently, the U.S. right to determine the fate of the world is because it's not as bad as Russia and China - I wonder why the countries in the rest of LobPo's "liberal world" which are not as bad as the U.S. (because they, for instance, are even more progressive on LGBT rights and don't have Guantanamoes or conduct as many drone strikes or none at all) aren't the ones who get to wield the moral superiority hammer?
It's an, shall we say, interesting, interpretation that apparently the "[m]arginalization of African-Americans is a perception" and pay gaps are apparently merely because "[p]eople earn according to the responsibility they take." It's also rather weird to interpret a criticism of an unfair pay gap as an argument requiring "all people to earn the same amount of money". Sure, it may be that someone going by the moniker of AgingHippie (aka "the elderly bong-jockey" may support such an absolute pay equality (he hasn't written on it), but I suspect that LobPo is engaging in another reductio ad absurdum bordering on outright straw manning, similar to the earlier claim that because I rejected his fear mongering calls for (yet more) investment in armaments for an already supremely powerful NATO I was arguing for disarmament ("reducing western democracies' defensive ability"). ScepticWombat (talk) 08:37, 23 March 2015 (UTC)
NATO should have numerical and technological superiority over Russia and China. --LobPo (talk) 08:51, 23 March 2015 (UTC)
Brilliant non sequitur (or possibly a red herring) since I haven't claimed it shouldn't, but simply pointed out your erroneous claims about NATO not already having an overwhelming military superiority over any possible constellation of potential opponents. ScepticWombat (talk) 09:33, 23 March 2015 (UTC)
LobPo seems to think that the dig towards conservatives and Russia was targeting him, it wasn't (LobPo's fear mongering could just as well be motivated by a "crusading liberalism", general panic, or some other notion, as by conservatism). I was making a point about the really odd bedfellows Putin seems to have and how quickly they jump in and out of bed with him. Also, Conservapedia isn't as much conservative as it is lunatic wingnuttery. ScepticWombat (talk) 18:21, 22 March 2015 (UTC)

Would China and Russia survive a NATO attack[edit]

I'm Just Asking Questions, here. Peace. AgingHippie (talk) 15:26, 22 March 2015 (UTC)

As your question suggests - they would be no more like likely to "survive" than any randomly-selected NATO country. Which is why it's not going to happen.--Bob"I think you'll find it's more complicated than that." 17:37, 22 March 2015 (UTC)

But we've always been at war with Eastasia[edit]

Ever since the advent of nuclear weapons and MAD it is quite clear that the big boys dare not go head-to-head. There will always be sabre rattling and whichever power is dominant at the time will have a go at Afghanistan but, beyond that, this whole question is moot. Doxys Midnight Runner (talk) 17:58, 22 March 2015 (UTC)

How to defend NATO countries from nuclear missiles?[edit]

Is a comprehensive missile defense system capable of defending NATO cities? --LobPo (talk) 04:27, 23 March 2015 (UTC)

100%¿ no. --Miekal 04:32, 23 March 2015 (UTC)
In what scenario would it need to? FrizzyCatPotato (talk/stalk) 04:47, 23 March 2015 (UTC)
The upcoming world war 3 that Lobpo expects to take place because RUSSIA IS THE ENEMY--Miekal 05:12, 23 March 2015 (UTC)
According to this, "What America needs is a layered, resilient defensive network against Russian ballistic missiles that at least can negate the kind of limited attack resulting from a strategic error or miscalculation. That network would presumably include elements on land, at sea and in space that could give defenders multiple shots against any incoming warheads. After all, if you have three layers that are each 80% effective, then cumulatively only one in a hundred warheads would get through to their targets." --LobPo (talk) 06:31, 23 March 2015 (UTC)
America is a big country, missle defense is effectively impossible, and in the areas we least want it hitting, the farms in the center, its nigh impossible to actually stop a missle attack. even if we could 1:1 the missles on the cities, we'd lkose the ability to sustain any kind of life--Miekal 07:02, 23 March 2015 (UTC)
And Russia would be in the same situation of course.--Bob"I think you'll find it's more complicated than that." 07:24, 23 March 2015 (UTC)
Then why does the Forbes article say only one in a hundred warheads would get through to their targets if there is a ABM system? --LobPo (talk) 08:11, 23 March 2015 (UTC)
Because Forbes is staffed by morons who know jackshit about missile defence the author happens to be part of the section of the military-industrial complex which would make millions (if not billions) of dollars by further hyping a so far completely impractical missile defence system? Contrary to the version given by this defence pundit SDI wasn't scrapped "because many observers assumed the waning of superpower rivalries would diminish the danger of nuclear conflict," but because it was a lasers pie in the sky pipe dream, completely infeasible and only pushed by such people as Edward TellerWikipedia who had by this time plummeted from merely hawkish cold warrior to demented wingnut (no wonder Saint Ronnie liked him). ScepticWombat (talk) 08:50, 23 March 2015 (UTC)
Space-based Missile Defense: Advancing Creativity, Protecting Lives. --LobPo (talk) 08:56, 23 March 2015 (UTC)
Lasers Could Become Cost Effective Missile Defense Weapons. --LobPo (talk) 08:58, 23 March 2015 (UTC)
Oh goody, first LobPo cites a Forbes pundit (Loren Thompson) who is "the Chief Operating Officer of the non-profit Lexington InstituteWikipedia" which "receives funding from many of the nation’s leading defense contractors, including BoeingWikipedia, Lockheed MartinWikipedia, RaytheonWikipedia and United TechnologiesWikipedia." Clue: All four of the named companies are heavily engaged in the kind of military space and aerospace technology that has already received obscene amounts of dollars for extremely meagre results (lots of bucks, very little bang) and stand to make even more if Congress decide to pour yet more money into the missile defence sink hole. The LI was the subject of a Harpers Magzine article (cited by Wikipedia) entitled Mad men - Introducing the defense industry’s pay-to-play ad agency. Unfortunately, it's paywalled, but some gist of its contents can be garnered here, here and here.
Now we get that bastion of truth, fairness and solid scholarship, the Heritage Foundation tooting the virtues of military spending (yeah, shocking, I know), and an industry publicationNational Defense Magazine is published by these guysWikipedia saying that lasers could become cost effective missile defence weapons. What is this? An exercise in finding the worst possible sources? ScepticWombat (talk) 09:27, 23 March 2015 (UTC)
Well, my only interest is defending America, not feeding the defense contractors. If defense industry is selling unproductive equipment for profit, that should be stopped. But I think we should be open-minded about laser defence and space-based technologies and do more research. I really don't understand why laser can't be an effective anti-weapon? We already have the Laser Weapon SystemWikipedia, If laser can shoot down a UAV, why can't a powerful laser shoot down a ballistic missile? --LobPo (talk) 09:56, 23 March 2015 (UTC)
"But I think we should be open-minded [...] and do more research." Hilarious, if it hadn't been for the topic this could've been written by a homoeopath. One a more serious note, among the reason lasers aren't very effective against ICBMs are issues of timing (missiles are way faster than UAVs), putting said lasers in space (the original SDI) or having to fly a plane very close to the launch site for a boost intercept (SAMs? What SAMs?), the problem of actually hitting something (target recognition and, if any particles, such as dust, get in the way, beam dispersal), the ease with which a system can be overwhelmed (that's the reason the Soviets weren't worried about the original SDI), and the fact that the stated "targets" of the Bush era missile shield and its descendants (rogue states/non-state actors) have far more convenient and more covert options than launching missiles which amounts to pinning a "Kick me"-sign to your own forehead. Oh, and the cost, of course, which is inversely proportional to the feasibility and practicality of missile defence. In an age of constant calls for a balanced budget (especially from those who really like defence spending) pouring billions of dollars into an already extremely dubious and prohibitively wasteful military project while demanding cuts to social security is downright obscene. Why do you think that so few of the U.S.'s allies have been willing to chip in for development costs (despite enticing offers of lucrative contracts for foreign partners) unlike the case with other large scale projects (e.g. fighter) and why aren't they queueing up for acquisition of this fantastic WunderwaffeWikipedia? Sorry to break it to you, but the U.S. taxpayer has really been suckered with this turkey (far more so than with any other defence project I can think of when you compare the "bang to buck"-ratio). ScepticWombat (talk) 10:14, 23 March 2015 (UTC)
Ok, thanks for the clarification. --LobPo (talk) 10:29, 23 March 2015 (UTC)

Russian threat[edit]

Russia poses existential threat to Europe. My concern about Russia matches that of Soros. --LobPo (talk) 10:59, 23 March 2015 (UTC)

Firstly Soros has his own agenda and secondly Soros says nothing about nukes - he's talking about Russia exporting a political model. Sounds to me a bit like the old domino theory used as an excuse to bomb the shit out of SE Asia and we all know how well that worked. Doxys Midnight Runner (talk) 11:38, 23 March 2015 (UTC)
Soros is right. Economist gives same explanation. Putin is afraid of liberal democracy and human rights which threatens his own brand of authoritarianism and ultranationalism where the individual is completely subordinate to the authority and the interest of the state (rulling class) should be prioritized over the interest of the individual. Putin views Enlightenment individualism, which is the foundation of most western liberal democracies, a theat to his interest. --LobPo (talk) 12:04, 23 March 2015 (UTC)
"Putin views Enlightenment individualism, which is the foundation of most western liberal democracies, a theat to his interest." So do segments of U.S. conservatives and especially religious fundamentalists (e.g. dominionists) in the U.S. and so does the neo-reactionary movement. I'm a lot more worried about the crusading fundies getting into power than about Putin strongarming the "near abroad". Putin is simply the latest fad in the authoritarian strong man brand and without the street cred that comes with Chinese-style economic growth and power. But every time Putin throws a fit all the old cold warriors come out of the woodwork for another 15 minutes of fame. ScepticWombat (talk) 12:12, 23 March 2015 (UTC)
The religious right in the US is a fringe minority, no need to be concerned about them. --LobPo (talk) 12:23, 23 March 2015 (UTC)
The religious right has serious power and influence in the White House, and will have more the next time the Republicans get in - they scare me (a European) far more than Putin does. Doxys Midnight Runner (talk) 12:36, 23 March 2015 (UTC)
Don't worry, they will be further marginalized in the coming decades. Public opinion in increasingly shiting towards liberal position in different issues. This report shows this change is going on among Republicans too. After a few decades, US will cross the point of no return, means conservatives in the US will resemble British conservatives. --LobPo (talk) 13:17, 23 March 2015 (UTC)

"The religious right in the US is a fringe minority, no need to be concerned about them." Yeah, they're such a fringe minority that atheists can't run for office because nobody in America trusts atheists. They're such a finge minority that candidates for office have to disavow middle-school science in order to maintain their credibility. In Oklahoma, they're such a minority that the government is working to make it illegal for anyone but clergy to marry people. In Michigan, they're so fringe that the government is assuring adoption agencies that they will be continued to allow to discriminate against LGBT wannabe adoptive parents on religious grounds. You don't know what you're talking about. Also: a lot of that report assumes that what the millenials believe now is what they are going to believe in 20 or 30 years. That's a big assumption. Peace. AgingHippie (talk) 13:27, 23 March 2015 (UTC)

But my generation is all about hope and progress! How could our views ever evolve from crazy amount of "forward!" to anything more tempered Ah!--Miekal 13:37, 23 March 2015 (UTC)

Hi there cold war. We didn't miss you.[edit]

Could you please check your proxy wars at the coat room, and wipe the threat of nuclear annihilation off your sneakers before coming in? I know we're having a nice globalism party and everyone was invited, but... we didn't really expect you to actually turn up. ikanreed You probably didn't deserve that 13:39, 23 March 2015 (UTC)