Streetwise Professor

January 9, 2022

Yalta II: Poland Gets Schtupped Again

Filed under: History,Military,Politics,Russia — cpirrong @ 5:21 pm

Vladimir Putin has demanded Yalta II. Specifically, a withdrawal of Nato forces to the pre-expansion lines of 1997, which would basically abandon Poland and the Baltic nations.

It is easy to understand why Putin would demand this. It is far harder to understand why the US, and Nato generally, would give this demand the time of day. But it apparently is doing far more than that: it is signaling a preemptive concession.

Hapless, feckless, gormless, chuckleheaded Secretary of State Anthony Blinken sent the signal, in words, not blinkin’ his eyes in Morse Code:

But there’s more!

Of course Blinken said, after suggesting unilateral concessions, there would be no unilateral concessions.

Totally credible! Especially in light of US actions in Afghanistan, etc.

As Casey Stengel once said: “Doesn’t anybody know how to play this game?”

FFS, Russia has taken a maximalist position in its negotiating stance. You don’t respond to a maximalist position by playing Caspar Milquetoast.

TIL that the use of the word "milquetoast" to mean someone ineffectual or  weak derives from the name of a once hugely popular American Newspaper  Comic Strip character, "Caspar Milquetoast", who appeared

(And I swear to God, if Blinken’s photo isn’t next to the definition of “Beta Male” in the dictionary, it damned well should be. Who could possibly be intimidated by this guy? Hell, who in Russia or China isn’t wetting themselves laughing at the thought of seeing this guy at the other end of the bargaining table?)

Somebody comes to negotiations with a maximalist position, the appropriate response is: “fuck you and yo’ mama too.” Call the bluff, then talk.

And it’s so unnecessary. Look, Yalta is hardly a credit to FDR’s legacy, but (a) at the time, Stalin had possession of the territories in question, and possession is ten tenths of the law in international power politics, and (b) FDR was a sick, weak man at the time.

Well, I guess (b) pretty much holds today. (As pathetic as he was, FDR was sharper in 1945 than LGB is now.) But with regards to (a), the situation is totally different. Today Nato controls the territories in question. There is no reason whatsoever in order to make any concessions. Zero. Zip. Nada.

Yes. I have said it’s stupid to include Ukraine in Nato. But Poland and other eastern European nations are already in Nato. Totally different situation. Tell Vova to get over it and get used to it. Don’t egg him on by dangling concessions.

But Biden (and, of course, Germany) appear quite willing to shtup Poland yet again.

One wonders what Poland did to anger God. Placing it on defenseless territory between Germany and Russia. And putting its fate in the hands of feckless fools like Brandon and Blinken.

How disgraceful. Especially since Poland has been the most stalwart member of Nato and very loyal to the US. In stark contrast to the perfidious Germans. Yet whom is Biden apparently content to sell down the river? Yes, disgraceful. But this is a disgraceful administration.

One last thing. Can you imagine the shitshow if the Trump administration had bleated out what Blinken did? “See!!!!! He’s in Putin’s pocket!!!! He’s Putin’s puppet!!! COLLUSION!!!!”

But what do we hear now?: crickets.

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  1. One can only hope that the Poles (like the Japanese) have been assiduously working on a clandestine nuclear program.

    Comment by Christopher L Hunt — January 9, 2022 @ 7:44 pm

  2. As I understand it Blinken has offered to dial back on the strategic bomber flights and military exercises around Russia’s western border, and maybe scale back their BMD plans for eastern Europe. No biggie really, especially as the former can be dialled back up pretty much in an instant. He certainly hasn’t cut Poland or the Baltics loose.

    Borrowing from my adage that if GOPhers are pissed off it must be good news, Russia is reportedly deeply unimpressed with the offer, ergo…

    Comment by David Mercer — January 10, 2022 @ 4:35 am

  3. “One wonders what Poland did to anger God” The counter-reformation.

    Comment by dearieme — January 10, 2022 @ 9:12 am

  4. It’s always a hoot to hear people from non-military fields (eg economics) bloviating on military matters.
    Russia has drawn a red line because the US and Nato have proved “non agreement-capable” in the words of Lavrov.
    If it wasn’t for the planet-threatening implications, it’d be a hoot to watch the gender-fluid forces of Nato/US go up against Russia on her doorstep.
    The US has always relied on overwhelming force rather than strategy for success. It’s ability to project force so far from home is completely dependent on it’s aircraft carrier fleet. And that fleet is a complete sitting duck for Khinzal-type hypersonic missiles launched from stand-off distances.
    Whilst the US fields rusty sub-sonic Tomohawks in response, and rely on sheer volumes of them to overwhelm Russian defenses.
    It takes only a shred of honesty to admit that what Russia achieved in Syria with a single base and 30 military aircraft – to halt the “unstoppable” wave of Western-backed jihadis – is something completely beyond the capabilities of the molly-coddled Western forces.
    Which is not to say the Russians wouldn’t sustain horrendous losses in the process, just that their maximal bargaining position is no bluff, and the proposed “fuck you” bargaining response is about as block-headed as can only be expected from a US armchair warrior.

    Comment by Huskynut — January 10, 2022 @ 6:32 pm

  5. @Huskynut. Yawn. You are apparently ignorant of my background, knowledge base, etc. You are the one bloviating, boy.

    By the way, did you read my post on why the US should not try to defend Ukraine? Apparently not.

    Insofar as Tomahawks, etc. are concerned. You are the one exhibiting limited imagination about military matters. Riddle me what vulnerabilities Russian forces would have if they tried to cross the Dnieper? Not that I’m advocating it, because of the potential for escalation, but overwhelming Russian defenses is not necessary. Even Tomahawks (or JASSM, etc.) could wreak havoc on river crossings.

    And insofar as fuck you is concerned, well, fuck you.

    Comment by cpirrong — January 11, 2022 @ 3:12 pm

  6. So what Russia can possibly do to hurt us? Other than war of course – I don’t think they are THAT stupid.

    Missiles and troops in Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela? Refusing to sell gas and oil to Europe? Refusal to sell some stuff Russia has a lot of, like titanium? Engaging the extreme Left in order to stir unrest, riots, attacks on government buildings and infrastructure?

    What else? Covert large-scale cyberattacks?

    Comment by LL — January 12, 2022 @ 8:36 pm

  7. Yeah but are you SURPRISED by this Prof.

    You’ll just have to bring your expectations down even lower.

    Comment by Ex-Global Super-Regulator on Lunch Break — January 13, 2022 @ 2:21 am

  8. Those Orange and their buddies, the NeoPetainists just can’t help themselves.

    Comment by Sotoay1 — January 13, 2022 @ 6:14 pm

  9. Krauts not orange. Stupid autocorrect.

    Comment by sotosy2 — January 13, 2022 @ 10:05 pm

  10. There is one person in the West on his knees hoping, praying, begging that the Russians invade Ukraine ………
    and that person is one Boris Johnson.

    Currently he is on his way out, shop-worn and reduced to tatters.

    But if V.V.P. pushes the button, that single act will sweep aside all the scandals and offer B.J. a chance to play his favorite – if cliched – role as Churchill Redux (sans cigar). Dreams, nay fantasies of redemption …

    Comment by Simple Simon — January 16, 2022 @ 11:31 am

  11. I’m sure President Bonehead would also be on his knees if he understood anything about what’s going on around him

    Comment by dearieme — January 16, 2022 @ 1:04 pm

  12. @Simon: I sincerely doubt Johnson will do anything about Ukraine if Vlad does make a move, particularly given the current make-up of Tory party donors (Lord Lebedev? I kid you not America). It appears he’s going to declare war on some softer, closer-to-home targets e.g. the BBC and those headline grabbing Channel migrants. Tally ho chaps!

    Comment by David Mercer — January 17, 2022 @ 7:46 am

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