Deployed in Ukraine

A new student wrote to say she’s off campus because she’s deployed in Ukraine.

That was a weird experience.

21 thoughts on “Deployed in Ukraine

  1. Your student violated military regulations by giving you that information, and her indiscretion could get her in trouble.

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      1. “Why are they in Ukraine at all? I’m fascinated.”

        In a super small/simplified nutshell, of the 3 world powers, the USA, Russia, and China, the USA is already very rich while the other two aren’t. The wealth of the USA means that the USA can always attract young immigrants to work hard & demand local housing, services etc. which means that the USA is economically and demographically stable while also being very rich.

        Russia and China aren’t rich enough to attract immigrants but have a young population, which means that for now, they don’t need to import young immigrants to buy their housing/good/services/work hard. They can just get the young people who are already in the country to work, produce goods, develop infrastructure, build things etc.

        At the same time, the populations of both Russia and China are ageing, which means that both of these countries have about 10 years to get enough net work out of the predominantly young population to develop the economy/nation before they end up with a population demographic with too many pension aged people in it, since if that happened there wouldn’t be enough working age people in the nation for it to grow/develop and maintain all of the old people at the same time.

        If Russia and/or China miss this 10 year window to develop themselves properly, it would mean that in 10 years they would be competing with a USA that is not only super wealthy and developed, but with a young active population. In that situation, both nations would be dominated by the USA in pretty much every sphere.

        Part of the struggle involves the USA influencing both NATO and the government of Ukraine to antagonise the Russians, using the people and land of Ukraine as (disposable) tools. The last time the USA tried the same thing was in 2014 or so, which didn’t go to plan because instead of the whole of Ukraine setting itself against Russia, the regions of Donetsk and Lugansk broke away and fought against the rest of Ukraine, followed by declaring themselves to be republics.

        Now that Biden is in power, both NATO and the government of Ukraine have once again been set against Russia, which means that the two breakaway republics have to be dealt with first.

        Since it is against the interest of Russia (and planet Earth) for the Donetsk/Lugansk to be retaken by Ukraine militarily since that would prelude at attack on nuclear armed Russia, the Russians have moved military forces to the border region which includes unofficial provision of manpower/support to the breakaway republics, while the USA is doing the same thing under the guise of training and/or advising the Ukrainian military, as Dreidel mentioned.

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        1. Russia is not a superpower but it does attract a gigantic number of migrants. Did you know that half of the kids in Moscow’s primary schools do not speak Russian?

          They have open borders with Central Asia because Putin needs cheap, exploitable labor without any regard for what this does to women’s safety. They also have open border policies for illegal migrants from Moldova, Ukraine, Belarus, etc. There’s also an open border policy on the border with China, where Chinese migrants are overtaking miles and miles of territory.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. I’m fascinated how there’s this whole mythology about Russia that’s based on the exact opposite of the actual facts. Russia’s #1 issue for 20 years has been uncontrolled mass migration. It’s created all sorts of problems. Yet people are so attached to the utterly fantastical belief that “Putin is a nationalist” that they can’t notice what’s in plain sight.

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          2. “Russia is not a superpower but it does attract a gigantic number of migrants.”

            I did not say that Russia was a superpower. I said that it was a world power because my reply was a “small/simplified nutshell”.

            It is not possible for Russia to be a superpower without being a financial power, economic power, and have a significant proportion of other nations change their foreign policy to match Russia’s foreign policy.

            China qualified as being a probably superpower for about 5 minutes a handful of years ago because so many nations were mindlessly doing what it wanted, but since the COVID pandemic, has been stripped of practically every overseas ally and is back down to being a non superpower world power/too big ot be called just a regional power again.

            Also yes I know that Russia takes in a lot of migrants but it isn’t enough and can’t be enough since those nations are being drained of young people too. The demographers I take seriously on the issue almost uniformly give a 10 year window for both Russia and China before the game is essentially done and the USA wins.

            I didn’t know about the school children in Moscow not speaking Russian though. That’s really interesting. Did you mean that they don’t speak it as a first language but are being taught in school, or that they have schools in their language only?

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            1. “since the COVID pandemic, has been stripped of practically every overseas ally and is back down to being a non superpower world power”

              I don’t see it. Through Covid they successfully exported their model of government which has now become the new normal for most of the world… It was the biggest political change since 1989 and most people don’t even see it…

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              1. “I don’t see it. Through Covid they successfully exported their model of government which has now become the new normal for most of the world… It was the biggest political change since 1989 and most people don’t even see it…”

                Prior to COVID, the nation known as China, formally the People’s Republic of China, benefitted from the One China Policy in the US that treated the other China, known as Taiwan, formally the Republic of China, as if it wasn’t really a country. High ranking US officials didn’t go there, while Taiwan was routinely margianlized and excluded from important international forums.

                After COVID, the One China Policy effectively ceased as high ranking US officials were sent to Taiwan along with open talks by yet more officials about trade agreements (which legitimise governments), along with weapons sales to Taiwan of the kinds specifically useful against China, and recently, educational material priming the English speaking population entering Hollywood movies such as one called, from memory, “Boogie”.

                So now we have two Chinas again, not just one.

                After that an anti-China league was formed named “the Quad”, statedly intended to be a Nato-esque military alliance comprised of the USA, Japan, India, and Australia, which then immediately began conducting military exercises in the sea off China.

                That is an enormous reversal from Chinas largest trading partner the USA, the formerly quite passive Japan, Australia which counts China as its largest trading partner, and India its competitive next door neighbour, especially since the latter two were previously quite happy to help China expand through its Belt and Road Initiative.

                Economically, companies were instructed to withdraw from some kinds of commerce with China, notably Japan which paid its companies billions to relocate factories to outside of China, and Australia which implemented laws allowing review of state level deals with China in relation to its Belt and Road initiative that resulted in cancellation of those deals and further talk about reacquisition of such things as Australian ports purchased by Chinese entities.

                At the same time, probably most importantly, the genocide occurring in China against the Uighur ethic group was formally acknowledged by the USA in state department reports, which triggers all sorts of anti-China legal consequences because it isn’t permissable for so-called civilised countries like the USA to treat governments that commit genocide as if they are legitimate governments.

                The Chinese government is so impotent that more or less all it can do about all of the above is howl about hundred year old US racism, lash fishing boats together in Filipino waters in some kind of weird territorial display, and use harsh language on television.

                That kind of thing doesn’t happen to superpowers, so of course, China isn’t one.

                As for exporting a government model, I understand what you mean but personally think that elements of Chinese authoritarian/surveillance capitalism were sought by the horrible politicians of the West at least as much as the Chinese pushed it at them.

                I mean, if they really had exported their government model, all of us here probably wouldn’t have kidneys anymore or something.

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            2. The kids come to a regular public school, and the teachers can’t teach because half the class doesn’t speak a word of Russian. It’s the same in the US in a bunch of states but at least in the US the migrants aren’t from a completely different culture and religion. Plus, the immigrants in the US do want to assimilate and by the second generation they are completely assimilated.

              Thc idea that “US wins” is very attractive to me but I’m not sure it’s very meaningful. The global elites don’t understand or care for the concept of countries. They don’t see themselves as being of a specific country. They are the ones who win. And we are the ones who lose.

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              1. “The kids come to a regular public school, and the teachers can’t teach because half the class doesn’t speak a word of Russian.”

                Poor kids. What is the typical outcome – do they learn fast and have a decent path in life, or do they tend to form an underclass and tend towards manual labour etc as happens in the West?

                “Thc idea that “US wins” is very attractive to me but I’m not sure it’s very meaningful. The global elites don’t understand or care for the concept of countries. They don’t see themselves as being of a specific country. They are the ones who win. And we are the ones who lose.”

                It’s largely ideological but very meaningful. If the CCP were to prevail (which it will not in its present form with a Maoist authoritarian capitalism model) they would expand relentlessly without limit. After my interactions I’m not a big fan of their mentality, ideology, or value system at all, and am sure that you would share the same opinion.

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              2. It’s an underclass. The official narrative is “well, if nobody wants to do these manual jobs here in the country, we’ve got to bring people in.” Always the same story.

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        2. —since that would prelude at attack on nuclear armed Russia…

          IMHO, nobody is seriously planning an attack on Russia. Instead, the US is trying to recreate the end of the previous cold war, where Soviet Union went bankrupt as a result of a combination of low oil prices, exhausting arms race, and some sanctions. Quite possibly, the US would not mind Russia throwing a lot of resources into occupying some country (or several) where it will experience significant armed resistance, essentially recreating the Soviet Afghanistan experience… That country should not be a member of NATO or other too close US ally with whom US has a binding defense treaty. It has to be a country which the US can give up without losing too much face if things go badly. This means, by the way, that it is actually more reasonable for the Ukrainians to bribe certain US politicians and their children, rather than to take US rhetoric at face value. This way Ukraine can at least blackmail the US officials into supporting Ukraine…

          I do not mean that conflict between Russia and Ukraine, or in Syria, or in Libya, or anywhere else is created by the US from nothing (or that Russia is somehow “better” than the US). The US is not omnipotent. All those conflicts have important historical reasons and would exist in some form anyway without the US. But the US would not mind using those conflicts in the interests of the US, without much regard for the interests of the countries in question.

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          1. I think this is putting to much faith in the capacity of the US to develop a coherent foreign policy. I’m not seeing that since 2008. Bush 2 had a coherent foreign policy that concentrated on the Middle East. It was a terrible policy but it existed.

            Obama had none because he doesn’t see the world in terms that make space for foreign policy. And Biden is Obama 2.0 so it’s all back to the mess of vapidly sitting by and only being roused from the torpor when somebody somewhere tries to control migration flows.

            Liked by 1 person

          2. @ valter07: “IMHO, nobody is seriously planning an attack on Russia. Instead, the US is trying to recreate the end of the previous cold war, where Soviet Union went bankrupt as a result of a combination of low oil prices, exhausting arms race, and some sanctions.”

            Probably. Undermining and destabilising the Russian system as you described still counts as an attack though.

            I remember reading a paper somewhere about a primary goal of the whole thing being to access resources in Siberia, since the exploitation would drive economic prosperity for years and prop up many of the Wests failing monopolies.

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            1. I’ve been hearing these fantasies about “the West wants to destabilize us to take away Siberia” and “oh the demographics” from Russian FSB quacks since 1989. They’ve been repeating the same old song for over 30 years. It’s kind of cute to see it in English but it’s strange that anybody takes this all seriously outside Russia. It was created strictly for internal consumption.

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              1. I don’t know what song people have been singing for 30 years where you were, but where I live, the main industries are government administration followed by mining followed by military. What we spend a billion dollars on this month or who might need to be blown up in some war depends on what the Chinese and Indians are going to be buying in 15-25 years.

                Consequently, demographics is studied intensely and spoken about often around here since it is essential to managing practically the whole place.

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              2. You are repeating very standard lines of the Russian propaganda, and it’s not the first time.

                It can happen to anybody that we come across faulty sources of information and take them seriously. It happened to me a lot. Nobody is infallible. It happens.

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              3. “You are repeating very standard lines of the Russian propaganda, and it’s not the first time.”

                The only way for you to be certain of that is to be all knowing, which no one is.

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    1. I was under the impression that service members are allowed except in rare circumstances (special forces in particular) to tell people what country they’ve been deployed to. Is this not the case? Or is it different for this situation in particular?

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      1. “is it different for this situation in particular?”

        Yes — “rare circumstances (special forces)”

        The fact that U.S. forces are in Ukraine is public news that the government doesn’t deny but doesn’t publicly confirm.

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