Obama vs. Putin - Ukraine a Modern Day Guan Du?

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Obama vs. Putin - Ukraine a Modern Day Guan Du?

Unread postby sonic.penguin » Sun Mar 02, 2014 5:53 pm

Obama vs. Putin - Ukraine A Modern Day Guan Du?

Update on this topic 4/18/2014
http://video.foxnews.com/v/3480487812001/how-obama-is-handling-ukraine-vs-putin/?intcmp=obnetwork#sp=show-clips

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In light of recent, developing events in the Ukraine,
http://www.foxnews.com/world/2014/03/02/crimean-leader-claims-control-asks-russia-for-help-in-restoring-peace/

In terms of establishing their respective power, it seems that Putin is doing everything he wants to do with total disregard to the stance of the Obama administration (and the world for that matter) and the threats they give without action. Does anyone else see parallels with these events and the stances of Yuan Shao and Cao Cao?

Yuan Shao was indecisive and could not make up his mind which lead to his downfall, Cao Cao was cunning and relied on the fact that Yuan Shao was exactly as what was described 30 words ago to establish himself as a viable contender for power :lol:

From Wikipidea: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Guandu

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Last edited by sonic.penguin on Fri Apr 18, 2014 1:21 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Obama vs. Putin - Ukraine A Modern Day Guan Du?

Unread postby Jordan » Mon Mar 03, 2014 10:55 am

no? The entire situation is based off of irredentism. When the Soviet Union broke up there were many Russians stranded in former Soviet republics but now part of territories no longer under the thumb of Russia itself. Russia feels an obligation toward those Russians and that has allegedly and probably in reality informed their decision to invade Ukraine.

The Crimean Peninsula has hundreds of years of Russian history behind it. Its history as part of Ukraine is relatively brief and most of the people who live there are Russian. Many people cheered the Russian invasion of the region.

Putin's decision to resort to military force is wrong, but clearly there is an issue that ought to be resolved given people holding pro-invasion rallies after Russian forces moved into the region. The peninsula was given to Ukraine by Khrushchev as a gesture of conciliation, goodwill, friendship and possibly even repentance for the excesses of Stalin's regime toward Ukraine. It was done so, however, with the understanding of an enduring Soviet Union. When the Soviet Union broke up, the Crimean Peninsula remained with Ukraine which was a somewhat arbitrary arrangement based on Khrushchev's earlier gift of the territory. It did not sit well with the majority Russian population in the territory.

The denouncement of Putin's actions is correct but there is more to this story than Putin's seemingly irrational decision to utilize military force in an action that would provoke logical international resentment. It is not just a matter of violating the sovereignty of Ukraine. It is also a matter of self-determination for the people of Crimea. Although Putin clearly frustrated many Western countries, his decision wasn't as stupid as most people think. I also have no idea how the situation is similar to Guandu.
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Re: Obama vs. Putin - Ukraine A Modern Day Guan Du?

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Mon Mar 03, 2014 5:13 pm

I can't see the comparison either.

This may turn out to be less about vs Obama and more about vs EU. The way this plays out could play into the thinking of a lot of East European countries handle the Russia or EU issue, or rather knowing that when push comes to shove, the EU lacks the will to militarily intervene in the east.

Ukraine (though I doubt the west half is going to be invaded) and Crimea are in Putin's hands, what happens next will be down to him and any Russia internal pressures alone.

Jordan wrote:The denouncement of Putin's actions is correct but there is more to this story than Putin's seemingly irrational decision to utilize military force in an action that would provoke logical international resentment.


People think it seems irrational? Putin knows the comeback will be limited and if he plays this right, the Kiev protesters actions will (and to an extent, has) help provide a PR shield.
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Re: Obama vs. Putin - Ukraine A Modern Day Guan Du?

Unread postby Jordan » Tue Mar 04, 2014 2:16 am

People think it seems irrational? Putin knows the comeback will be limited and if he plays this right, the Kiev protesters actions will (and to an extent, has) help provide a PR shield.


Americans are quick to look at Russia as a bogeyman. It's part of our culture.
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Re: Obama vs. Putin - Ukraine A Modern Day Guan Du?

Unread postby sonic.penguin » Tue Mar 04, 2014 3:07 am

Typically speaking, the Obama administration is quick to make threats but has been known to not back up its verbage with action. A few examples include:
Threats to Afghanistan over troop withdrawals
Threats to Iran for continuing its development over a nuclear program which were later taken back
Threats to the Soviet Union with trade sanctions (who cares?)

On the other hand, there is little information out there in that respect to the actions of Russia, its more or less, if there is a Russian interest, Russia is there. No threats, just action.

While not agreeing with the Russian position, I do take notice that "threats" don't work, it is merely a time-biding non-action done in a attempt to give a "tough" but useless opinion. The fact is, is that actions speaks much louder than words, and Putin speaks a LOT louder than the current American Govt by not speaking at all.
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Re: Obama vs. Putin - Ukraine A Modern Day Guan Du?

Unread postby Lady Wu » Tue Mar 04, 2014 3:26 am

I tend to think of it less as Putin vs. anyone and more as Putin establishing himself as the one who calls the shots.

Sure, Russia has historical claims on Crimea, but there are far cheaper ways to get it without pissing off everyone. Given existing Russian sympathies in the region, a referendum could easily bring the region back into the Russian fold, and the most Russia would need to do is to give the referendum a little nudge. Diplomacy, outright buying people off... there are tons of cheap and covert ways to do it.

Sending in the troops could just be him fed up with the "soft" solution, him not bothering to play the game anymore with a volatile government that is backed by the West to an unknown extent. But the way I see it is that it's an act of legitimizing his rule (and his military force). He's calculated that there's nothing the West could really do about it, given the special status of Crimea and the fact that Ukraine isn't a NATO country (or in the EU yet). The West could give him a slap on the wrist for not playing nice, but trade sanctions will hurt both sides equally and withholding visas... well spring is around the corner; who needs to travel abroad anyway. It's like, "Nyah nyah I can invade a country and there's nothing you losers can do about it." It's a bit of a Cold War mentality but Russia under Putin needs this kind of quick win, something to remind the world that Russia (and Putin) is still relevant. And Crimea is the ideal place to do that--they've got a pretty good justification as random unprovoked invasions go, the peninsula gives Russia a ginormous geographical advantage, and whether or not Putin goes all out and invades the rest of Ukraine, he would have put his fingers on the critical pressure points of Eastern Europe. Plus it was easy. Internally, he could justify the need for the military and evoke all sorts of Russian military pride; externally, he can say he didn't really invade Crimea--there was no bloodshed and they didn't hurt civilians. It's all really clever, I think.

Is it deplorable? Yes, violating another nation's sovereignty (no matter how much you think you have rights to their land) by force is always deplorable. Is Putin out of touch with reality (as Angela Merkel wondered)? Not by a long shot.
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Re: Obama vs. Putin - Ukraine A Modern Day Guan Du?

Unread postby Shikanosuke » Tue Mar 04, 2014 3:52 am

I never really saw this as a Obama Admin vs. Putin admin issue, despite anything we might have said the sake of it. I figure this is much more about the EU and Putin, as well Ukraine and its people. Crimea certainly isn't our backyard.
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Re: Obama vs. Putin - Ukraine A Modern Day Guan Du?

Unread postby Jordan » Tue Mar 04, 2014 8:50 am

sonic.penguin wrote:Typically speaking, the Obama administration is quick to make threats but has been known to not back up its verbage with action. A few examples include:
Threats to Afghanistan over troop withdrawals
Threats to Iran for continuing its development over a nuclear program which were later taken back
Threats to the Soviet Union with trade sanctions (who cares?)

On the other hand, there is little information out there in that respect to the actions of Russia, its more or less, if there is a Russian interest, Russia is there. No threats, just action.

While not agreeing with the Russian position, I do take notice that "threats" don't work, it is merely a time-biding non-action done in a attempt to give a "tough" but useless opinion. The fact is, is that actions speaks much louder than words, and Putin speaks a LOT louder than the current American Govt by not speaking at all.


While I don't necessarily disagree with you here, I think the problem is that it's not really an American issue to begin with. The real conflict is between Russia and Ukraine. Canada, the United States and other countries are merely on the periphery of the crisis, though European states certainly have high stakes in what happens. What exactly do you propose America should do? The only sane military action we could take, if any, would be to send troops to reinforce the rest of Ukraine.

Denouncing Russia for its actions is certainly warranted but for a real resolution to occur here there needs to be understanding of what is at stake on both sides.

Lady Wu's analysis of the issue being one of Putin's prestige is interesting and I think it's accurate. I also think there are other reasons for the invasion, however, that do relate to the history of the region. If there is a solution to the problem, I think it needs to be multifaceted. On one hand, there needs to be a beefing up of military security in Europe. Europe has been demilitarizing for decades and much of the cost of NATO's defense has been defrayed to the United States, which has overextended itself elsewhere. I think this crisis has pointed out that both Europe and the United States need to get their priorities straightened out.

On the other hand, I think that although Putin should be rightfully denounced for his use of military force, his decision to actually use the military has brought to the attention of the world a serious issue with a region of Ukraine. Perhaps the Crimea ought to be autonomous or part of Russia given the long-standing ties it has had with Russia as well as the majority Russian population in the region. I feel that a multilateral diplomatic effort should be made to temporize with Russia, asking them to remove their troops from the Crimea in exchange for concessions. One concession could be democratically held elections in Crimea overseen by neutral UN agents. The people of that region could decide in a vote whether or not they wanted independence from Ukraine, in which case they would become their own sovereign state and could then decide on their own at some later time whether or not they wanted to merge with Russia. Given the slight majority Russian population in Crimea, it is likely that Crimeans would seek out separation from Ukraine. However, it is also possible given the substantial minorities of Tatars and other people that they would vote as a country to remain with Ukraine. Should the people of Crimea decide to obtain autonomy, I believe that UN agents should stay in the country awhile to make sure that non-Russian minorities in the region were treated well by the new government. In addition, there should be free use of the Black Sea ports on the Crimean Peninsula by both Russia and Ukraine. Should the people of Crimea vote to stick with the Ukraine, I believe that similar UN oversight should be done to ensure fairness to the Russian people living in the region. Overall, I believe that a democratic vote by the people of Crimea itself, albeit with certain caveats to ensure protection of the Crimean people, would be the fairest way to resolve the crisis.

In short I think that a solution to the problem needs to use both the carrot and stick. Security in Europe needs to be improved because Russia obviously remains a rogue military threat. To sort out this specific issue, I think there needs to be a deal that deescalates tensions and also does the best thing for the people of Crimea themselves. Any proper resolution to this issue should not shift blame entirely on Russia. Although Putin's use of military force was unwarranted, the current crisis was caused by both Ukrainians and Russians. It is as much a result of long-standing divisions and corruption in Ukraine as it is of Russia's external intervention.
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Re: Obama vs. Putin - Ukraine A Modern Day Guan Du?

Unread postby sonic.penguin » Tue Mar 04, 2014 4:12 pm

While I don't necessarily disagree with you here, I think the problem is that it's not really an American issue to begin with. The real conflict is between Russia and Ukraine. Canada, the United States and other countries are merely on the periphery of the crisis, though European states certainly have high stakes in what happens. What exactly do you propose America should do? The only sane military action we could take, if any, would be to send troops to reinforce the rest of Ukraine.


I don't necessarily agree with this. Crimea is the gateway to the Middle East for Russia and while there are pro-Russia supporters, do you think that Putin really cares about a few extra million people? The Middle East is a main artery that runs directly to the United States escpecially in terms of economic security via oil. Shale oil is relatively new and not fully developed, the Canada pipeline still does not exist (not may it ever at our current rate), and there aren't enough refineries. In other words,"No oil, no USA". While I do agree it is a problem for Europe, the United States has an extremely HIGH interest in that regions stabilty. Keep in mind that Istanbul (Not Constantinople :P) controlled the Silk Road trade and became highly wealthy because of it's highly strategic position in that region.

You can control all trade through Asia-Africa-Europe by controlling the Crimean region.
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If Russia moves into that region , it would be like Cao Cao moving into Wu Chao. While not at the center of the battlefield, it's strategic significance' allows a much greater stake to be achieved in the big picture of the world. Therefore, I belive mere "threats" on America's end results in making them more impotent on such a vital area of the world. Should troops be sent in? I don't know, but I would say that actions do speak louder than worlds and it annoys me to no end how a President will threaten and backpedal on the words, it makes them look weak. Inevitably, Russia will move south into the Middle East, it's only a matter of when.
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Re: Obama vs. Putin - Ukraine A Modern Day Guan Du?

Unread postby Jordan » Tue Mar 04, 2014 5:02 pm

It's a tiny peninsula and Russia had already kept its navy on the Black Sea prior to seizing the peninsula itself. I'm not really sure I see how taking that territory cuts off all oil from the United States. There are easily multiple other routes of transfer. Based on what I've read, it is not Crimea itself but rather oil pipelines throughout Ukraine in general that provide oil to Europe through Russia. Crimea actually relies on Ukraine for electricity, which creates a sticky energy situation. Oil prices have increased since the crisis but that would happen in a crisis in virtually any country in an oil producing or pipeline region. It happened during the Arab Spring and didn't end up causing a global disaster.

If you're proposing that Russia is going to use Crimea as a platform to invade everything in the Middle East, starting with Turkey, I have serious doubts. Moreover, since Russia had naval forces stationed there before this conflict even started, I fail to see why they couldn't have just done so before. The issue is even goofier since the Soviet Union controlled the Crimean Peninsula for a very long time and Russia as a whole controlled it for even longer. It wasn't a disaster when Russia or the USSR controlled it then. It won't be a problem now unless the US makes it a problem.

I still fail to see why this is a direct conflict between the US and Russia. At best it's a proxy and in all likelihood it can be resolved without escalating tensions between the two countries, but it would require that both countries lay off the brinkmanship and go back to diplomacy.

I continue to see this as an issue of irredentism and historic ties Russia has to former Soviet Republics.
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