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  #61  
Old 03-05-2022, 10:02 AM
Louied Louied is online now
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I was listening to GEN (Ret) Wesley Clark, a former commander of NATO, on CNN the other day. (Yes, I know what some of you think of CNN; let's not go into that right now.) He said that while the troops and equipment are enough to make a wreck of Ukraine right now, to properly subjugate Ukraine, Russia would need on the order of 800,000 troops with attendant armor and vehicle to move the supply chain, and enough aircraft to gain air superiority over Ukraine.

The Russians don't have this right now. Mass conscription would be necessary, and the first task of the new troops would be to get currently POS vehicles running. While training for combat.

However, the invasion of Ukraine is going badly for the Russians. Even Russian commanders (secretly) acknowledge that they are overwhelmed at how badly the campaign is going. The war is also very unpopular in Russia herself, and conscription is going to go over like a lead balloon. You'll need loyal troops to provide armed guards over the conscripts to make sure they don't desert, and in general start a reign of terror over the conscripts.

You're also going to have a situation like in the 1960s-70s in the US, where conscripts "burn their draft cards" and generally don't show up when they are conscripted. They'll join the antiwar effort instead. Where they will be arrested, and then conscripted. There will be press gangs roaming Russia.

It's going to be a mess.
Excellent observations Paul! I guess the question now is does Putin look to save face and take over the two eastern regions and make Ukraine say "uncle" then withdraw and start a huge revamp of its forces? Strategy wise I would think (at I could be completely wrong) that was the best option. Then tag team with China as they make a move somewhere. Though I have a feeling China is taking some hard lessons from this themselves.
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  #62  
Old 03-05-2022, 10:20 AM
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Default How might the war end? Five scenarios (from the BBC)

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-60602936

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  #63  
Old 03-05-2022, 12:55 PM
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Excellent observations Paul! I guess the question now is does Putin look to save face and take over the two eastern regions and make Ukraine say "uncle" then withdraw and start a huge revamp of its forces? Strategy wise I would think (at I could be completely wrong) that was the best option. Then tag team with China as they make a move somewhere. Though I have a feeling China is taking some hard lessons from this themselves.
My concern is that Russia will decide that the city of Kyiv is "too tough a nut to crack" with infantry and pull a Grozny in the circa 2000 Second Chechen War. He's already moving in the rockets and tube "grid square removers" (I love that term by the way) and attempting to surround the city and force capitulation. IF he decides to pull a Grozny, then he will move in the thermobaric weapons, and everyone in Kyiv will get a free cremation on Russia. My hope is that his advisors can talk him out of it based on the political and economic repercussions for doing so.
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Old 03-05-2022, 12:59 PM
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I was listening to GEN (Ret) Wesley Clark, a former commander of NATO, on CNN the other day. (Yes, I know what some of you think of CNN; let's not go into that right now.) He said that while the troops and equipment are enough to make a wreck of Ukraine right now, to properly subjugate Ukraine, Russia would need on the order of 800,000 troops with attendant armor and vehicle to move the supply chain, and enough aircraft to gain air superiority over Ukraine.

The Russians don't have this right now. Mass conscription would be necessary, and the first task of the new troops would be to get currently POS vehicles running. While training for combat.

However, the invasion of Ukraine is going badly for the Russians. Even Russian commanders (secretly) acknowledge that they are overwhelmed at how badly the campaign is going. The war is also very unpopular in Russia herself, and conscription is going to go over like a lead balloon. You'll need loyal troops to provide armed guards over the conscripts to make sure they don't desert, and in general start a reign of terror over the conscripts.

You're also going to have a situation like in the 1960s-70s in the US, where conscripts "burn their draft cards" and generally don't show up when they are conscripted. They'll join the antiwar effort instead. Where they will be arrested, and then conscripted. There will be press gangs roaming Russia.

It's going to be a mess.
As far as I know, Russia has universal conscription. Every male serves from 18 to 20 and then goes into the equivalent of America's IRR (inactive ready reserve). That means every Russian male is going to "get a taste of Hell." I just don't know how a sustained occupation would be affordable to Russia's military. I'm not even sure the US could do it now with our debt load.
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  #65  
Old 03-05-2022, 02:49 PM
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As I've stated in other threads, your information on this is out of date.

There is still conscription, but it is now on a one year term (although many conscripts enter with at least some training in militarily useful experience already, due to "patriotic training" that has no real Western equivalent). Since 2016, conscripts have the option to instead sign on immediately to a two (maybe three?) year volunteer contract, which offers better pay and preferential treatment.

At least on paper, most of these conscripts serve in support roles, while combat roles are comprised primarily of voluntary contract soldiers.

In any case, conscripts make up only about a third of manpower. However, the inequalities in pay, status, and authority between contract and conscript soldiers has been a noted point of friction and low morale even within any given unit, and it's likely we're seeing that here.

(A specific case: Conscripts are not legally allowed to serve outside of Russia. In this particular case, many conscripts had their status nonvoluntarily changed to contract prior to the invasion in order to get around this law -- certainly this is probably another sore point for morale.)
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  #66  
Old 03-06-2022, 08:52 AM
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Blinken has green-lit the transfer of Polish fighters to Ukraine, which suggests we have reassured them of back-stopping thier loss. This does not mean any such transfer is iminent, but surely closer than it was a week ago on initial reports.

An unknown number of foriegn volunteers have entered Ukraine, which has lifted visa requirements. Ukraine suggests volunteers have fatigues and cold-weather gear.

Putin is reported to be deploying 1,000 mercenaries to Ukraine, but those reports are unconfirmed.

Big questions. Would Putin leverage captured foriegn fighters from NATO member nations to expand the war?

Will NATO allow Ukrainian fighter jets to rearm amd refuel at bases outside Ukraine?

Both scenarios seem unlikely right now, but things may be much more desperate by next week.
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  #67  
Old 03-06-2022, 09:17 AM
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Blinken has green-lit the transfer of Polish fighters to Ukraine, which suggests we have reassured them of back-stopping thier loss. This does not mean any such transfer is iminent, but surely closer than it was a week ago on initial reports.

An unknown number of foriegn volunteers have entered Ukraine, which has lifted visa requirements. Ukraine suggests volunteers have fatigues and cold-weather gear.

Putin is reported to be deploying 1,000 mercenaries to Ukraine, but those reports are unconfirmed.

Big questions. Would Putin leverage captured foriegn fighters from NATO member nations to expand the war?

Will NATO allow Ukrainian fighter jets to rearm amd refuel at bases outside Ukraine?

Both scenarios seem unlikely right now, but things may be much more desperate by next week.
No to both. Putin isn't going to be looking to expand the war anywhere, since he can barely handle the one he has. What he most definitely will do is utilize captured foreign fighters for propaganda purposes as proof of the western conspiracy against Russia that was the supposed pretext for the Ukrainian invasion in the first place. Allowing Ukrainian aircraft to arm/refuel at NATO airbases and then return is effectively allowing them to fly sorties which is an overt act of aggression and would certainly be construed as a NATO attack upon Russia.

As an aside, Russia has already stated that foreign fighters in Ukraine would be treated as criminals and not afforded protections due to combatants, so these folks better plan on taking that into account.
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  #68  
Old 03-06-2022, 12:02 PM
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Putin is reported to be deploying 1,000 mercenaries to Ukraine, but those reports are unconfirmed.
Is that Wagner Group? If so, that "company" is essentially just a front for Spetsnaz (the name and PMC designation is a weak attempt at plausible deniability).

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Big questions. Would Putin leverage captured foriegn fighters from NATO member nations to expand the war?
He could, but it would be a fairly weak pretext. I agree with BestBrian's assessment.

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Will NATO allow Ukrainian fighter jets to rearm amd refuel at bases outside Ukraine?
Not anytime soon, if ever. Doing so would give Russia a much stronger pretext for expanding the war.

What I'm wondering right now is what impact the refugee crisis (1.5m and counting) is going to have on EU/NATO calculus, both short and long term. Could a continuing flood of Ukrainian DPs force NATO to intervene militarily? It's unlikely, but what could happen if refugee support systems start to buckle? In the long term, if/when Russia conquers Ukraine, millions of Ukrainian refugees residing in multiple countries right next door could help sustain a very lengthy insurgency. This could cause all sorts of political and diplomatic issues between Russia and the host countries which could, again, lead to an expansion of the war.

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  #69  
Old 03-06-2022, 01:36 PM
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What I'm wondering right now is what impact the refugee crisis (1.5m and counting) is going to have on EU/NATO calculus, both short and long term. Could a continuing flood of Ukrainian DPs force NATO to intervene militarily? It's unlikely, but what could happen if refugee support systems start to buckle? In the long term, if/when Russia conquers Ukraine, millions of Ukrainian refugees residing in multiple countries right next door could help sustain a very lengthy insurgency. This could cause all sorts of political and diplomatic issues between Russia and the host countries which could, again, lead to an expansion of the war.

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This is going to turn into a very active and very large insurgency actively supported by the world community and led by an extremely ticked off diaspora. I'm curious to see to what extent this spreads to Belarus. The ruling party there is only in power at the point of Russian bayonets. I could very well see a Belarus insurgency springing up (actively armed and supported by the one in Ukraine).
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Old 03-06-2022, 04:32 PM
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Default Desperate Times...

Video circulating online today shows civilian vehicles- buses, cargo and tanker trucks, even sedans- spray-painted with Z recognition markings on Russian flatbed train cars in transit to Ukraine.

Several years ago, in the In Defense of the Red Army thread, someone pointed out that one of the Cold War Soviet army's most significant but little publicized weaknesses was its relative paucity of transport vehicles. Apparently, the post-1945 Soviet military-industrial complex learned nothing from the important role that Lend-Lease materiel played in defeating the German ground forces during WW2, and the Russian military has since inherited that gap in logistical thinking.

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  #71  
Old 03-07-2022, 01:20 PM
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Using the typical off-the-shelf Quadcopter as an armed drone. One has to wonder how many of these the Ukrainians have now?

https://youtu.be/Q3KkEMxA4EQ


By the way, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND Funker Tactical 530.

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  #72  
Old 03-07-2022, 01:41 PM
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Default An Objective Evaluation Of Russian Logistics

Here is a good analysis of Russia's logistical issues.

https://youtu.be/b4wRdoWpw0w
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  #73  
Old 03-07-2022, 03:42 PM
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The Russians are bringing back the armored train.

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zon...ion-of-ukraine

Speaking of recommendations, you may have noticed that I post a lot of articles from Warzone on The Drive. It's pretty much my go-to for contemporary military-related news. If you haven't already, check it out.

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  #74  
Old 03-08-2022, 07:56 AM
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Russian strategic culture - Why Russia does things the way it does?


Presentation by Martti J. Kari, a retired intelligence colonel of the Finnish Defense Forces (03DEC18). The presentation is in Finnish, but there is English caption in the video. I recommend this to everyone who wants to see the broader cultural background of the Russian way of doing things. Col (ret) Kari has a deep understanding of the Russian way.
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  #75  
Old 03-08-2022, 08:24 AM
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Is there a GoFundMe or something like that for the troops in the Ukraine?
I don't know of crowd funding, but a couple of ammo companies have been donating a couple of million rounds, this article made news: https://www.businessinsider.com/ariz...ne-army-2022-3

Maybe such a thing could be organized the easiest way by contacting such a firm and asking them about "care packages"? I don't know, never thought about this kind of stuff.
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Old 03-08-2022, 08:40 AM
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As far as I know, Russia has universal conscription. Every male serves from 18 to 20 and then goes into the equivalent of America's IRR (inactive ready reserve). That means every Russian male is going to "get a taste of Hell." I just don't know how a sustained occupation would be affordable to Russia's military. I'm not even sure the US could do it now with our debt load.
That's not how it works in Russian real life. Only about half of the men available serve each year, often voluntarily, since serving as a conscript seems to enhance the chances to get an apartment funded by social welfare. Also, while the US has individual ready reserve and the Russians have something similar, they encounter problems known to me as a German from 1990s and 2000s Bundeswehr: activating reservists is expansive and thus avoided in huge numbers. It also disrupts the economy, though that might be less of an issue, once sanctions kick in and do their from work.

I absolutely agree on the idea of the Russian army - today and historically - sucking as an army of occupation. It's a vastly different job and Ukraine is a country of over 40 million people, nearly all of them, as of now, hostile to Russia.

However, comparing Russia's expenditures on the armed forces with that of Western nations is a folly. Yes, their spending was only USD 43.2 billion in 2020, down from USD 46.4 billion in 2019. However, Russia buys most of it's equipment internally and has comparatively very low costs for personnel. Also, in Ruble, the spending actually rose from 3 trillion to 3.09 trillion between 2019 and 2020, and then to 3.2 trillion in 2021.

This means, Russia can do much more with its funds than e. g. Germany, which spent the comparable sum of €46.93 billion in 2021. All in all, however, the allies of NATO outspend Russia by far, of course. This doesn't mean, though, Russia cannot create a bit of a mixed pickle on NATO's Eastern flank for some time.
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Old 03-08-2022, 02:32 PM
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Default Plot Twist!

Poland looks to be exchanging its MiG-29s with the US, for American-built replacement fighters. This opens the door for the US to transfer said ex-Polish MiGs to Ukraine.

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zon...ead-to-ukraine

It's a bit of a pass-the-buck move by Poland, but given their geo-political and military position in Europe, I can respect it.

Is this a red line for Putin? We shall see.

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  #78  
Old 03-08-2022, 03:22 PM
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Default Farmers Having a "Field [Artillery] Day"

This is just so Twilight2000 I just had to show it. When the conscript Russians run out of fuel, they simply abandon their AFVs and just run off. Only in Twilight2000 would I have imagined seeing things like this...

https://youtu.be/KOo3U32-J_g


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  #79  
Old 03-08-2022, 03:28 PM
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Cappy is still evaluating the Russian's performance here.

https://youtu.be/FDKH_FxFdrw
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Old 03-08-2022, 03:35 PM
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The Russians are bringing back the armored train.

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zon...ion-of-ukraine

Speaking of recommendations, you may have noticed that I post a lot of articles from Warzone on The Drive. It's pretty much my go-to for contemporary military-related news. If you haven't already, check it out.

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Actually, according to people in open source info forums, they apparently used one or both of the armored trains in Grozny too. I heard they are often used to haul Thermobaric missiles as well as larger artillery "stores" like 140mm rocket reloads. I guess they were a much-needed resource there during the siege of Grozny. Of course, Chechnya has rail lines to Russia so they were able to move in by rail. Ukraine severed her rail lines before the invasion started. That might have thrown the Russians off their game a bit too.
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Old 03-08-2022, 03:41 PM
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That's not how it works in Russian real life. Only about half of the men available serve each year, often voluntarily, since serving as a conscript seems to enhance the chances to get an apartment funded by social welfare. Also, while the US has individual ready reserve and the Russians have something similar, they encounter problems known to me as a German from 1990s and 2000s Bundeswehr: activating reservists is expansive and thus avoided in huge numbers. It also disrupts the economy, though that might be less of an issue, once sanctions kick in and do their from work.

I absolutely agree on the idea of the Russian army - today and historically - sucking as an army of occupation. It's a vastly different job and Ukraine is a country of over 40 million people, nearly all of them, as of now, hostile to Russia.

However, comparing Russia's expenditures on the armed forces with that of Western nations is a folly. Yes, their spending was only USD 43.2 billion in 2020, down from USD 46.4 billion in 2019. However, Russia buys most of it's equipment internally and has comparatively very low costs for personnel. Also, in Ruble, the spending actually rose from 3 trillion to 3.09 trillion between 2019 and 2020, and then to 3.2 trillion in 2021.

This means, Russia can do much more with its funds than e. g. Germany, which spent the comparable sum of €46.93 billion in 2021. All in all, however, the allies of NATO outspend Russia by far, of course. This doesn't mean, though, Russia cannot create a bit of a mixed pickle on NATO's Eastern flank for some time.
You still have to feed and cloth those conscripts and that costs money. According to Sub Brief, Cappy, and a few other YouTubers known for detailed open-source intel, Putin did do a "clemency recruitment drive" just prior to Ukraine, taking prisoners into the army in exchange for clemency. I'm guessing that these would be the majority of deserters and we know they are there because they were being interviewed after being captured by Ukraine. In some cases, they had only about a week of training before deploying.

IF all of that is true, it gives a whole new meaning to the term "canon fodder."
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Old 03-08-2022, 04:39 PM
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Poland looks to be exchanging its MiG-29s with the US, for American-built replacement fighters. This opens the door for the US to transfer said ex-Polish MiGs to Ukraine.
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Probably not going to happen

Pentagon response to Poland's proposal on jets: "We will continue to consult with Poland and our other NATO allies about this issue and the difficult logistical challenges it presents, but we do not believe Poland’s proposal is a tenable one.”

-Pentagon spokesman John Kirby
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Old 03-08-2022, 04:54 PM
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Poland says they are ready to send the 28, Mig-29's to a U.S. base in Germany.

There are reports that Russian has lost a ship.

There are reports that a second Russian General has been KIA.
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Old 03-08-2022, 05:40 PM
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Probably not going to happen

Pentagon response to Poland's proposal on jets: "We will continue to consult with Poland and our other NATO allies about this issue and the difficult logistical challenges it presents, but we do not believe Poland’s proposal is a tenable one.”

-Pentagon spokesman John Kirby
https://youtu.be/K6uA6a9jgjs

Biden is simply dragging his feet. We have 600+ F16s in inventory. We can give Poland 28 of them.

Biden did finally ban imports of Russian oil today. We are supposedly being told to expect $7 per gallon by next month since the current administration won't lift their ban on drilling in the national forests.
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Old 03-08-2022, 05:42 PM
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Poland says they are ready to send the 28, Mig-29's to a U.S. base in Germany.

There are reports that Russian has lost a ship.

There are reports that a second Russian General has been KIA.
That Russian ship was sunk off of Crimea. Open Source Intelligence posted a Google satellite photo of it.
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Old 03-08-2022, 08:16 PM
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Originally Posted by swaghauler View Post
https://youtu.be/K6uA6a9jgjs

Biden is simply dragging his feet. We have 600+ F16s in inventory. We can give Poland 28 of them.

Biden did finally ban imports of Russian oil today. We are supposedly being told to expect $7 per gallon by next month since the current administration won't lift their ban on drilling in the national forests.
The oil companies are banking record profits while gouging consumers. This is about greed.
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Old 03-09-2022, 01:12 AM
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Originally Posted by swaghauler View Post
https://youtu.be/K6uA6a9jgjs

Biden is simply dragging his feet. We have 600+ F16s in inventory. We can give Poland 28 of them.

Biden did finally ban imports of Russian oil today. We are supposedly being told to expect $7 per gallon by next month since the current administration won't lift their ban on drilling in the national forests.
Having vehicles in inventory and having effective vehicles are not the same thing. Russia is giving the world an object lesson in this concept. If Poland gives Ukraine two dozen Migs and associated spares, compatible weapon systems, and the rest of those planes' support they need the same number of F-16s. They'd also need training for pilots and ground crews for the entirely new planes and weapon systems. Poland giving up planes is basically them taking a combat-ready squadron offline for months if not years. These aren't Hummers.

Oil companies in the US already under utilize their existing leases for drilling on federal land. More leases aren't going to reduce the price at the pump for gasoline. Opening federal land to drilling (or any land) requires the attendant infrastructure to store and move that oil. So even if oil companies got a bunch of new federal drilling leases tomorrow they wouldn't get significant amounts of oil into the market for years.
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Old 03-09-2022, 02:24 PM
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Having vehicles in inventory and having effective vehicles are not the same thing. Russia is giving the world an object lesson in this concept. If Poland gives Ukraine two dozen Migs and associated spares, compatible weapon systems, and the rest of those planes' support they need the same number of F-16s. They'd also need training for pilots and ground crews for the entirely new planes and weapon systems. Poland giving up planes is basically them taking a combat-ready squadron offline for months if not years. These aren't Hummers.
Except that Poland has already TRAINED on F16s and F35s and would need to upgrade her fleet anyway because the MIG 29s all exceed half their airframes' service lives. Why not do it now while the doing is good?
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Old 03-09-2022, 02:38 PM
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Originally Posted by bash View Post
Oil companies in the US already under utilize their existing leases for drilling on federal land. More leases aren't going to reduce the price at the pump for gasoline. Opening federal land to drilling (or any land) requires the attendant infrastructure to store and move that oil. So even if oil companies got a bunch of new federal drilling leases tomorrow they wouldn't get significant amounts of oil into the market for years.
Except that Biden did ban drilling in the Allegheny National Forest by banning Fracking and doubling lease fees after he promised the unions he wouldn't. Without Fracking, shale oils cannot be exploited. This cut production in the Forest down to 10k barrels a day from 30K + and idled 1200 wells overnight. As a result, 58K PA workers lost their good-paying jobs when this happened and DON'T TELL ME I DON'T KNOW WHAT I AM TALKING ABOUT because yours truly was one of them. I used to haul well casings to the rigs in the Forest and now get to haul steel for peanuts compared to oilfield pay. Now, PA power companies are forced to IMPORT natural gas to make electricity because the Forest is no longer supplying it.
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Old 03-09-2022, 03:57 PM
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Guys, I really don't want to lock this thread. Please keep it apolitical and on-topic. The thread OP is about the war in Ukraine.

https://forum.juhlin.com/showthread.php?t=2961

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