International relations thread

Average Joe

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I wouldn't be surprised if we've been training the Ukranians covertly in maintence and how to use the tanks on offer because if we haven't they only have a short window before an expected Russian spring offensive. People though will have to realise that we're now doing this the Russians will say if they're offered arms from other countries it will be their right to accept any offers.
NATO has done military exercised in Ukraine with Ukrainian forces for many years so it would not surprise me if they are fairly experienced in the Wests equipment.
 

DB9

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NATO has done military exercised in Ukraine with Ukrainian forces for many years so it would not surprise me if they are fairly experienced in the Wests equipment.
Unless we in the West have sold them equipment I would think any joint NATO/Ukraine exercises the countries involved would use their own, Other than maybe soldiers/officers taking a look at each others stuff I reckon that's about as far as it went, The West/NATO probably supplied small arms and equipment but not the big stuff like Tanks, Howitzers, Missile Defense units, otherwise why would they be asking for them? Don't forget before Zelensky Ukraine were not the most reliable country as there was a chance that the country could have turned to Moscow and very nearly did, This is what started things in 2014, I can't see the West/NATO training them while there was unrest and a Putin puppet regime could have become a reality.
 

Alistair20000

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A military expert on the wireless this morning said the number of tanks now being sent falls well short of the number Ukraine needs to make a significant difference. 300 as a minimum was mentioned.
 

Phil Sayers

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300 is the number that Ukraine has long argued they need and I would not presume to second guess their own assessment of their defence needs. What I would say though is that firstly there are many thousands of Leopard 2s and Abrams both in service and in storage so more could be easily supplied. The potential donors would rightly wish to see how they absorb and operate a smaller number before committing to a larger number. In any event Ukraine regularly receives refurbished Soviet / Russian tanks from Eastern European NATO members, Poland alone has sent 250 T-72 tanks, and while these are finite and dwindling in number they are not yet exhausted while being easier for Ukraine to quickly press into service as they are already familiar with them. Ukraine probably has more tanks in service now than it did before the war started although of course and entirely understandably they want more and better.

To my mind the supply of Infantry Fighting Vehicles like the US Bradleys is actually a more important step. There is a bigger qualitative gap between those when compared to Russian BMPs than there is between updated Russian tanks and Western tanks. Furthermore, they can be supplied in volume with fewer political and logistical difficulties.
 

Mr Jinx

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How do you see the war escalating? Russia cannot beat Ukraine and so they are hardly likely to take on the whole of NATO unless Putin's grand plan is both national and personal suicide.
So how do you see it panning out?

Russia (under Putin) won't back down. Especially as China appear ambivalent (whilst probably secretly backing them). And I don't see Putin going anywhere soon despite Western media thinking (hoping) that he'll be taken out or popping his clogs from one of the various ailments they're claiming he's got.

The West has gotten a little more involved this week. Do you see a point where it goes all out and we all just pile in, not just sending of stuff but deploying of troops too? That's if nukes don't come into it first.

If nothing else, I'd like the US to give Ukraine some Warthogs. That would really put the cat amongst the pigeons.
 

Phil Sayers

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So how do you see it panning out?
With the complete expulsion of Russian troops from all areas of Ukraine they have illegally occupied with the possible exception of Crimea. Crimea is tricky because on the one hand there is a sacrosanct principle at stake regarding changing international borders through the use of force and because failing to resolve matters now would just leave an ongoing, unsolvable territorial dispute that Russia could at any point use as a lever for renewed aggression (e.g must again take Kherson for Crimean security). On the other hand it was a part of Russia prior to Khruschev's pen stroke and Russia would seriously contemplate going nuclear to keep it a part of Russia. Realistically, what is needed is an objective assessment of what the Crimean population want their future to be.
 

Mr Jinx

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With the complete expulsion of Russian troops from all areas of Ukraine they have illegally occupied with the possible exception of Crimea.
Yes, but how do you see that panning out exactly? I think it's pretty clear that Ukraine can't do that on its own even after being handed weapons from the West.

However, put 100k US, UK & European troops in there, together with their cornucopia of weaponry and it'd be sorted in weeks (nukes aside). But then how likely is that to happen?
 

Phil Sayers

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Yes, but how do you see that panning out exactly? I think it's pretty clear that Ukraine can't do that on its own even after being handed weapons from the West.

However, put 100k US, UK & European troops in there, together with their cornucopia of weaponry and it'd be sorted in weeks (nukes aside). But then how likely is that to happen?
I don't think there is any possibility of the latter happening unless Russia starts to directly attack NATO territory. However, I do think it is entirely possible that Ukraine will be able to do it on their own (with plentiful indirect help). Ukraine has a battle-hardened, highly motivated and increasingly well trained / equipped army. Russia is chucking untrained, unmotivated and poorly equipped conscripts / convicts into the fight. For sure numbers do count but Saddam was not short on numbers in 1991.
 
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