No document I have ever read covers this topic in more detail than this briefing by Peter Pomerantsev, author of “Nothing is real and everything is possible.”
This briefing, which is held in the library of Congress, is where I first heard the term “fake news” in 2014. It’s a stunning contextualization of what has been happening in the last decade.
> "The lower down the echelon, the nearer the armies of the world came to standardizing psychological warfare organization. They did this for the same reason that they all organize into regiments instead of centuries, cohorts, or tribes. Modern war is a self-standardizing process if the enemy experience is to be copied, enemy techniques improved, allied assistance accepted, and military practice kept up to world standards. Psychological warfare units needed printing and radio sections; to service these sections they all needed intelligence and analysis offices; to distribute their materials they all needed agents and liaison. Black propaganda organization varied more than did white, but it was amazing to Americans, uncovering Japanese subversive-operations units, to see how much the Japanese organization resembled their own."
(White propaganda is material one admits one has written. Black propaganda is material one claims someone else has written. Both go back to well before the last century. Linebarger has historical notes, with examples going back thousands of years. Having been one of the people who "lost china", Linebarger also offers some opinions on why the communist propaganda was more effective than the capitalist in that case.)
Hats off, brilliantly put and the whole aspect that the word hackers got hacked is one that I'll remember with a smile upon this subject. Thank you for that perspective - I'll think better for it.
The predicament itself feels ironic, in that "hacker" culture reveled in the amoral, going beyond conventional behavior, thinking outside the box, getting around rules and systems, manipulating technology for fun and profit.
In a way, that dark side of the hacker attitude now pervades politics, business, and the media. Public institutions and private organizations are surveilling, cataloguing, identifying trends, and maniputing public opinion and social behavior.
I suppose it was inevitable that "hacker culture" itself was infiltrated and hacked, to serve an ulterior purpose.
A healthy reaction has been the rise of "maker culture". What is old is new again!
At least the meaning of "hacker" is now a somewhat-useful sibboleth, distinguishing between the old school and the poseurs? I may be optimistic, but I'm confident true hackers will always eventually learn the true semantics, when they start learning about their antecedents.
Question is, how many people look past the first hit?
Throwing up our hands at the corruption of words over time is not helpful.
The dynamic was especially visible in the 90s when sysadmins and even users would often shoot the messenger for pointing out simple security holes.
Many in the USA are tired of being criticized for being the "world police" yet the same critics also scream when the USA starts pulling its military personnel out of their country (like Germany, most recently).
I say Europe should use their own money to build their own Navy and Air Forces to protect their own interests and make their own trade and travel routes secure. Right now most EU countries are putting virtually none of their budget into military because everything is taken care of by the USA (and they can launder protection of interests through USA as well so USA takes all the heat if something goes wrong).
Maybe people will complain less about the US military when they have to use their own tax dollars to secure their own borders, shipping and air routes, protect their own interests, etc.
Also, your opinion of Europe doesn’t seem founded in reality. Since when does European nations not have their own standing armies, and since when are American army resources used to protect European borders and shipping routes? And from who?
The US needs the rest of the world as much as the rest of the world needs the US. You seem to be under the influence that the US is somehow being fleeced by the rest of the world while nobody but you (conveniently enough) contributes anything.
Since the 1940s.
> And from who?
Since WW2: Russia. The US military's position in Europe post WW2 enabled the destroyed, fragile nations of Europe to rebuild in the face of a Soviet onslaught to conquer as much territory in Europe as they could.
Also: Serbia, right in Europe's backyard. See: the Kosovo War. 
Also: Ukraine today. The sole reason Ukraine exists at all still, is that the US poses a severe threat to Russia were it to attempt a full annexation move using its military. They couldn't be certain how the US might react. Remove the US from that equation, and Russia knows the Western European powers will do nothing to stop it from taking Ukraine (other than protesting at the UN and throwing on some sanctions).
Russia would immediately begin annexing territory in several prominent Eastern European nations, along with militarily challenging several others (eg Poland), were the US to pull its military resources and declare it had no interest in European affairs. The Western European powers would do nothing to stop that and could do nothing. France and Britain have nuclear weapons, which would only be used as a threat if their own territory was at risk (which it would not be; France isn't going to nuclear war with Russia over annexed Eastern European territory). Among Western European nations only Britain and France are capable of operating their militaries beyond their own borders properly, and in those cases they can barely do that. This is fundamentally why it was the US that had to intervene to stop the Muslim genocide in Kosovo, because the Western European powers can't project their militaries well and lack the capabilities the US has.
EU can fend for itself. It doesn't need the US military. And the USA doesn't need NATO. Our military is bigger than the rest of NATO combined.
> Since when does European nations not have their own standing armies
Europe spends very little on their military compared to USA, China, Russia, etc.
> and since when are American army resources used to protect European borders and shipping routes?
US Navy protects merchant ships, oil tankers, cargo ships, fiber optic cables, and more from damage, sabotage, seizure, piracy, and more. If you don't recognize global trade and communications stability provided by US Navy, it's time to be reminded. It's time you protect your own interests with your own money. It's time you deal with Russia on your own without a US presence.
> The US needs the rest of the world as much as the rest of the world needs the US
You just said you don't need "American army resources" because the European nations have their own "standing armies". I whole-heartedly agree. Let Europe use its own military to protect its own interests.
> You seem to be under the influence that the US is somehow being fleeced by the rest of the world
It does seem like "biting the hand that feeds you".
From my perspective EU is like "Cool, USA is taking care of tons of stuff we would normally have to pay for military-wise, so we can use that money instead to provide more social services to our citizens! Also the USA sucks [insert criticisms at every opportunity]"
And we all know how that turned out..
Are you serious? We spent half of the 20th century risking nuclear holocaust because we wanted to curb Soviet expansion into Europe. Many Americans still have family that were drafted and sent across the ocean to West Germany.
 - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kidnapping_of_Alexandra_M%C4%8...
Australia may not be in NATO, but there's close coordination anyways.
Pick a fight with Australia and the ANZUS Treaty comes into force, and if the ANAZACs are in a fight, the US and UK will almost certainly be involved.
Nuke Japan? You've picked a fight with NATO. Invade Australia? Same deal.
You are making an outlandish claim, that the BBC is lying in conjunction with FireEye. Back it up with evidence, or abstain from gaslighting please.
Also what do you think is more plausible for a western cybersecurity company's bottomline? make Russia innocent or make it guilty? especially when you got the backing of all western governments and media.
Can you substantiate your claim? If not, it’s fair to classify your comments as obvious attempts to gaslight HN’s readers.
On the other hand, if this thread is any indication, domestic intelligence agencies which want to foment anti-Russian sentiment can get a lot of mileage out of the idea this is another dastardly cyberattack by the Russkies.
I'm not sure what their interest would be in using this once-and-done hack to post a bunch of articles about NATO that no one will even read.
Edit: Andorrans, not Andorians
Although I do admit, the content of the fake news articles seem a little crude to be coming from peace activists. Personally I would post simple truthful anti-NATO, anti-military, and anti-nuclear weapons propaganda if I had the will to break into news web sites CMS.
EDIT: People are rallying against my anti-militarism. I don’t think there is a point arguing that, and such an argument is blatantly out of topic. Here we are discussing that I have a reason to doubt that a nation state is behind these attacks.
Getting rid of nuclear arms means surrendering to those who don't.
I wonder how Europe will respond when the next Crimea happens? Or if Taiwan gets attacked. It's a real question, and I'd love to hear from a peace-activist.
I'd bet Europe will do nothing. Merkel wouldn't even openly criticize China for stripping away democracy from Hong Kong. European models work well in a world without dictatorships. But as long as we have dictatorships, rigid pacifism is just throwing militarily weaker democracies under the bus. Irrespective of what one thinks about Trump, the US military a dependable ally for (many) democracies. And perhaps the only one with the willingness to act.
(Not an American.)
Crimea was annexed by a militaristic nation from a smaller less—but still quite—militaristic nation. Ukraine is neighbored to the west with supporting European nation—some with a really big military, and even nuclear weapons. None of those were able—or even willing—to stop the annexation. In this instance these armies were useless.
China annexed Tibet in the 50s and it wasn’t stopped. What makes you think Taiwan would be any different? China is a dictatorial power that is committing a genocide against a religious minority in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. It is not stopped. What makes you think Hong Kong would be any different?
Please note that invasions, and wars are not the only ways to act against human rights violations. There is also sanctions and boycotts. This was particularly effective to stop the South African apartheid. But alas, the current world powers are unwilling to apply even that to try to stop China from their human rights violations.
1. Even though I’ve had this conversation dozens of times, and the idea of military is so engraved into people that the idea that we don’t need it—or worse is harmful—is too alien for people to even contemplate.
You do understand we're talking about NATO and Russia, right? I mean, there is no clearer example of why NATO was created and exists up to this day that Russia's attack and invasion of Ukraine. The reason why Russia dedicates itself to weaken NATO is precisely that as well. You cannot talk about NATO without discussing Russia's historical aggression and expansionist agenda towards all its neighbouring states.
Knowing that, and as you are a self described peace activists with an axe to grind against NATO, why do you intentionally turn a blind eye to the very core of the problem?
I wonder how so-called "peace activists" look at Russia's invasion of Ukraine and still don't quite grasp the importance of NATO.
I would understand using Ukraine's example to argue the exact opposite, but for some reason you believe that a first sign of aggression justifies dismantling all defenses.
There is precedent of NATO interfering in armed conflicts outside of the borders of their member states. They did so in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo during the Yugoslav wars. They also did so in Afghanistan and Libya (come to think of it; NATO has demonstrated it self to be more like an invasion pact then a defensive one). Why didn’t they act in Ukraine? You tell me.
Now again, there are non-intervention ways of punishing Russia for this blatant violation of international treaties, such as boycotts or sanctions. However all of the 10 NATO members that qualified opted to participate in the 2018 FIFA world cup hosted by hostile Russia. How is that for solidarity?
World peace is not maintained by hugs and kisses. Big sticks keeps peace.
Civilian anti-military activists are such a group, regardless of how correct, or noble the cause is.
Just to prevent misunderstanding: I am not accusing peace activists of these attacks. I’m just saying that non-state actors have ample reasons and self justifications for pulling this off. And for that matter juvenile teenagers that just so happen to hate NATO for whatever reason might just as well have done this.
As you link to an article written by a partial actor over a year before the crime.
Just because an actor is guilty of several crimes, it won’t mean that all similar crimes conducted afterwards are conducted by that same actor.
Why? I would think anyone who truly wanted peace would welcome treaties meant to deter war , and would want to expand them globally rather than abolish them. Small wars are still wars, and there's one going on right now one country away from NATO.
 assuming war is never justified, even to prevent things like genocide.
> Use the abbreviated form of a title without explanation only if there is no chance of any misunderstanding (eg UN, Nato, IRA, BBC). Otherwise, spell it out in full at first reference, or introduce a label (eg the public sector union Unite).
> Where you would normally say the abbreviation as a string of letters - an initialism - use all capitals with no full stops or spaces (eg FA, UNHCR, NUT). However, our style is to use lower case with an initial cap for acronyms, where you would normally pronounce the set of letters as a word (eg Aids, Farc, Eta, Nafta, Nasa, Opec, Apec).
For the average reader, I would argue there is little chance of misinterpretation, and BBC certainly agrees. Besides that, because "NATO" is pronounced "nay-toh", they spell it with an initial cap.
EDIT: Actually the fact that their rule is followed by a list of exceptions, because NICE -> Nice, SAD -> Sad would be confusing shows why this style might be not so good after all. Also, whereas N.A.T.O. -> NATO is really just a style change in some sense, because NATO can be still interpreted only as abbreviation, NATO -> Nato feels like stealing a part of the identity from the subject. NATO emphasizes some meaning behind the letters, whereas Nato resigns on that origin.
> Use all capitals if an abbreviation is pronounced as the individual letters (an initialism): BBC, CEO, US, VAT, etc; if it is an acronym (pronounced as a word) spell out with initial capital, eg Nasa, Nato, Unicef, unless it can be considered to have entered the language as an everyday word, such as awol, laser and, more recently, asbo, pin number and sim card. Note that pdf and plc are lowercase.
It appears they are doing the equivalent of considering pronounced acronyms to be proper nouns. Despite the style ambiguity, it makes a bit of sense if you read the text aloud, as the style gives some indication of how to say the word.
I don't know if I'm an average reader or not. I wonder what that even means in this context: I imagine the average reader is probably expecting consistency with other media outlets.
It's especially odd when an organization always insists on capitalizing its own abbreviated title (NATO, NASA, OPEC, etc.) but the BBC refuses to do it. Seems like an instance of esthetics getting in the way of clarity.
Like many minor typographical issues, this one evokes an unnecessarily powerful reaction.
E.g.: Eon instead of E.ON, Ebay instead of eBay, Iphone instead of iPhone.
It’s the house style to avoid too many capitals in prose.
Remember how people used to write N.A.T.O. decades ago but then simplified to NATO? Now they’re simplifying to Nato.
I wouldn't call it "simplifying": capitalizing it has the same number of characters and is less ambiguous. I was already somewhat aware of BBC's style, but I still mis-parsed the headline and and thought "Nato" was the name or nickname of a natural person.
If I write an article about how 'France is having a heatwave' do you get confused and think 'France' must be referring to a natural person?
"We retain the middle cap in YouTube and MySpace because we think it prevents readers being confused by a word they are used to seeing in a particular way."
I'm used to seeing NATO, and thought Nato might have been a political figure I hadn't heard of.
At least for me, the confusion was cleared up immediately after looking at the article, but that doesn't mean this style of headline isn't any less confusing. After all, lots of places (like HN) only display the headline.
oh how interesting, ive never seen this debate before. I guess it confused because, internally, i dont treat acronyms as words. I dont think of NASA as Nasa or NATO as Nato, i find this counter-intuitive.
to think out loud, this seems antithetical to what an acronym is in the first place. NASA is a pointer, not an object. creating a new object Nasa templated from the pointer NASA (not the object the pointer is referencing) makes my head hurt.
the Bbc ( :-D ) does it, so apparently im the exception and not the normal.
I assume the smiley indicates that you're aware that 'BBC' would actually be correct, and that 'Bbc' is not appropriate (because we say 'Bee Bee See', not 'Bubk'), unlike NATO/Nato ('Nay toe')
Also, I prefer NATO over Nato personally. NATO reads 'Nay toe', while Nato reads 'Nat oh' in my head.
The BBC blog about their decision to use Nato (instead of NATO) is from 2013, a month after their decision to make that change, and starts with:
> Barely a week goes by without at least one BBC News website reader asking why acronyms are in lower case: ‘it should be NASA, not Nasa.’
I disagree that this is a British thing generally, and rather it's a conscious stylistic choice made by the BBC. If it was a British thing generally, it holds that there wouldn't have been a need for the blog post at all.
I also don't think 7 years is enough time to bastardise a language (unless you're talking about a dialect, at which point it doesn't always take very long to literally destroy the meaning of words)
The parent referred to starting wars. The first one doesn't qualify at all.
The US and NATO have intervened in the two civil wars (along with numerous other countries; with France recently pleading with the US to remain in Syria). It's an overreach to claim the US started the Libyan Civil War or the Syrian Civil War, neither is true. The US was opportunistic in trying to squeeze Syria's dictator Bashar al-Assad out (with Russia on the other side, trying to prop up the dictatorship). Those civil wars are the inevitable result of decades of extreme oppression by dictatorship, which will always end in armed revolution.
It might have been a civil war at the start, but after that it was a war of the US against two sovereign states. Nothing civil about that.
- Libya was started by France who begged the US to join them on their little sorties, Italy ran air command too, the US was just along for the ride)
- The Syrian Civil War has basically nothing to do with America, blame Russia as the leadership there gassing civilians and genociding undesirables is a Putin stooge.
The JCPOA (more commonly known as the Iran deal) constrained Iran's nuclear program, and it was with great disappointment that I watched the administration withdraw. But there were anecdotal reports of transgressions on Iran's part, and the JCPOA was never submitted to the US Senate for ratification, which means it was never a legally binding agreement under U.S. law. Like the Paris climate agreement (most of its signatories saw their GHG emissions increase, but not the US; so much for the effectiveness of such agreements to achieve concrete progress in the fight against climate change).
Please name some relevant countries who might be willing to bet their internal security that a hypothetical 5 year security promise from the US would definitely be operative after year 4.
But I do hope I'm wrong. I guess we'll see.
Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, Israel and everyone in NATO from Poland on west.
Yes, we're going through a rough patch because the US is (rightfully) sick of playing world police at the same time as China/Russia are on the up but to think that the US and all the other regionally relevant powers (e.g. NATO members for Europe) wouldn't retaliate against an attempt to annex territories in any of those countries is crazy. Also Panama and Egypt (who both have critical global shipping lanes) don't really have to worry about their sovereignty being violated by any nation that the first world would expect to restrict access to their shipping lanes.
That is not a reasonable description of the current situation unless you think that the guy whose party commands a thunderous minority but wins (both the Presidency and the Senate) due to electoral bugs gets to say what we, as Americans, are and are not "sick of".
If we're going to discuss this, let's not play "Goalposts? What are those?"
>Please name some relevant countries who might be willing to bet their internal security that a hypothetical 5 year security promise from the US would definitely be operative after year 4
I deem Taiwan to be a "relevant country" due to their relevance to the technology industry.
EU emissions overall are down, but with large differences between countries. https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/documents/2995521/9779945/8-08...
To encircle and strangle Russia.
That's how Russia sees it, at least, and I have a hard time arguing with that.
Maybe we should try other things?
Russians use this bank like Americans use Venmo.
It just seems like low hanging fruit for a chummy head of state to deal with, because the sanction itself is so hurtful and broad to include the entire institution for over half a decade and never revisiting it.
It is balanced to separate the rhetoric of the head of state from the autonomous and distributed US agencies. Its clear the priorities from the president are self-protection, and the stuff with Russia is just enough to keep investments afloat, while pretty much everything else regarding US agencies and geopolitics is ignored. So all the drama stays at the top of DOJ, Fed, Treasury and what all the divisions do transcends administrations.
Yeah, with Trump moving troops out of Germany because he believes, contrary to all facts, we'd be trying to rip them off.
Not to mention the whole Iraq fiasco with Bush trying to rope NATO allies in a war based on lies.
The underlying causes of these changes are Germany (1) continuing to spend less than 2% of GDP on defense; (2) its 2019 announcement that its pushing back its 2% target date from 2024 (agreed upon in 2015) to 2031; and, (3) continued German support for Nord Stream 2.
America is publicly penalizing Germany for the above reasons, which will likely disincentivize similar actions by nations receiving US troops from Germany and other host nations in Europe. Moreover, it seems some troops are likely slated for rebasing in the Indo-Pacific which will bolster US' power there.
I think the move is really poorly thought out if the goal is to penalize Germany and discourage their behavior. Because what is Germany losing? The political embarrassment of having troops leave? Is that really worth the billions it will cost to move troops? Because I feel like if the US was willing to spend billions to apply political pressure to Germany there could have been much more effective ways to go about it. And then there's the damage this does to the security of Europe broadly. If this in any way reduces our ability to deter Russia, that hurts all of NATO, not just Germany.
The only thing this will lead to is a breakup or a massive relevancy drop of NATO. Europe is already emancipating themselves, the US will continue to lose influence - to the benefit of China and Russia, of course.
Al Qaeda started the Afghanistan war.
However, it is a common defense treaty, and as such each member is expected to contribute a proportionate amount to their own military. Most recently the agreed level was 2% of GDP, which Germany has consistently fallen short of. Both Obama and Bush complained about it as well, but they both had a reasonable understanding of how things worked.
The thing you (and Trump) are meaning is the total defense spending as percentage of GDP. Germany cannot be "delinquent" here by definition! Every country is legally free to spend whatever it wants on defense. The "2%"is an informal goal only, not backed by any international treaty!
Trump just doesn't understand the geostrategic position of the U.S., where troops stationed in critical countries prevent invasions which would upturn its imperial economic order. Trump thinks the U.S. has stationed troops in SK, Germany, Taiwan for the countries' interests, where they were clearly deployed there to defend its own.
If we had a democratic system we wouldn't waste so many resources on armaments. That's why the military-industrial complex destroyed our previously somewhat-democratic system.
Anti-ICBM defenses in Europe undermine MAD, and if I were to believe the pro-nuclear-weapon people, (who insist that we are all better off pointing thousands of nukes at eachother), MAD is the only thing that has been keeping the world in relative peace for the past 60 years.
Serious question: Do you want to live in a world where MAD no longer works, but we still have all those thousands of nuclear weapons?
The United States has no official policy of mutually assured destruction.
If you're asking me - everything should be done to make sure one can win in a potential nuclear war. MAD sounds like glorified defeatism to me. President Reagan had a great Strategic Defense Initiative but it has been shelved in the 90s. Now Space Force could be an attempt at bringing a lot of that back in a way that will be much harder to get rid of by future administrations. To not be working on such systems is (not necessarily mutually) "assured destruction".
Your reasoning means that the most optimal move for Russia would be to nuke you, today, before your anti-MAD system is in place. It will, after all, save more Russian lives then being attacked by an unassailable adversary in the future.
The fact that you consider nuclear war to be winnable is horrifying. The whole point of it is that everyone loses. That's not defeatism, that's the only sane way to deal with two sides having end-of-the-world weapons.
No, I doubt Russia would dare use their nukes. Again the facility in Romania has become operational in 2019, no nuke from Russia so far. The one Obama cancelled was supposed to be in Poland. Roughly similar distance from mainland Russia.
> The fact that you consider nuclear war to be winnable is horrifying. The whole point of it is that everyone loses. That's not defeatism, that's the only sane way to deal with two sides having end-of-the-world weapons.
Expecting to lose without putting up a fight is defeatism. Nobody wants a nuclear war. But nonetheless I'm very happy that the US and other militaries are preparing for this scenario. Switzerland has a system of nuclear bunkers that can house more than its current population - I think that's very smart. It's not set in stone that humanity would end after such a war. Some projections even see most Americans surviving.
And don't discount a scenario where America can totally neutralize an adversary's nuclear capability with new tech. This should be (and probably is) the goal. We don't even know that much about the current capability.
Practically speaking a "MAD" approach benefits Russia much more than anybody else. Their military is rather unimpressive. Russia's nuclear capability is the only way Russia can seem strong and keep getting away with everything they do.
Countries like Russia cannot be trusted to comply with any nuclear agreements. When the West stops its work on nuclear related technologies it only gives countries like Russia an edge.
There's a difference between stopping a small percentage of missiles, and a large percentage of missiles. One does nothing to stop MAD. The other is a categorical change in the balance of power. It's like the difference between cutting off 5% of your air supply, and cutting off 80% of your air supply. You barely feel a difference from losing 5%, surely you can do it again and again and again...
But let's turn this question around.
Suppose that Russia announces that it has begun working on ICBM defenses. Once complete, they expect to protect themselves from 98 to 99% of American missiles. These defenses will be complete in 12 months - faster than you could build your own equivalents.
What do you do? Do you just sit around, and let them become the only nuclear power that can do as it pleases, as it renders all of your weapons useless? Do you let it have free reign in diplomacy, with the ability to threaten and extort anyone it wants, without any fear of retaliation whatsoever? Do you just sit around, and wait until 'oh, golly, gee, those reds can now kill us all anytime they want to, with no blowback to them, shucks, I guess it is what it is'?
Do you start building your own defenses, only to be attacked before they are ready, because they aren't interested in sharing a monopoly on consequence-free nuclear diplomacy?
Or do you 'dare to use your nukes', and attack first, before their defenses are ready?
I legitimately don't understand how the Russians can be seen as both such a wily, treacherous, capable adversary - while also taking steps to back them into a corner, where the only self-serving logical solution you leave them is for them to attack you first. I don't understand how you can endorse taking steps that push the world towards a nuclear war, while at the same time assuming that your adversaries will not respond to your brinkmanship with brinkmanship of their own.
And it, quite frankly, horrifies me, because you are willing to bet hundreds of millions of lives on the theory that your adversary will not carry out a logical, self-serving, outcome-maximizing response to your actions.
As of right now America's capabilities in every domain are vastly superior and I hope it remains so.
Again you believe that America's and other countries' nuclear capability is essentially the same and nuclear war means total destruction for everybody. I don't believe that.
I think Russia wouldn't dare because they would simply lose.
If you look at the history of Soviet propaganda with regards to nuclear, they often promoted these ideas of total destruction. Say back in the day they promoted the (now mostly discredited) concept of "nuclear winter". Russia actively wants Western fear and disarmament because that's the only way they can be "strong".
There is no alternative to an arms race. Russia and China won't simply become beautiful peace loving countries overnight if America slacks off. If anything assures nuclear war it's America being weak.
Plus you're assuming some perfect rationality where Russia (or some other country) couldn't possibly just launch an attack for a stupid reason. It's always a possibility. You want to try to win in that situation too. Under MAD you're just hoping it won't happen.
Of course you do! You don't believe that MAD works!
But you are avoiding answering my question. What would you do in the scenario I drafted? Would you attack first?
> Again you believe that America's and other countries' nuclear capability is essentially the same and nuclear war means total destruction for everybody. I don't believe that.
Among the permanent security council members, it is essentially the same. The UK's tiny arsenal could trivially kill ~200 million Americans, give or take some. Russia's is fifty times its size.
What evidence, besides your belief do you have, for the United States not losing more than three quarters of its civilian population, if attacked by six thousand nuclear weapons?
> I think Russia wouldn't dare because they would simply lose.
No, everybody would lose. The reason they haven't done anything is because it is not an inflection point. Localized missile defenses that will stop a small fraction of a small fraction of potential attacks are not an inflection point that breaks MAD. They are something to complain about, not something to go to war over.
But just because cutting off 5% of your air supply doesn't result in serious problems for you, cutting it off again, and again, and again, and again will eventually reach a critical inflection point.
> If you look at the history of Soviet propaganda with regards to nuclear, they often promoted these ideas of total destruction. Say back in the day they promoted the (now mostly discredited) concept of "nuclear winter". Russia actively wants Western fear and disarmament because that's the only way they can be "strong".
Just because the reds said it, doesn't mean they were wrong.
I'm just telling you I find the question irrelevant. If you're threatened with total destruction and think you can win of course you should attack.
> Among the permanent security council members, it is essentially the same. The UK's tiny arsenal could trivially kill ~200 million Americans, give or take some. Russia's is fifty times its size.
There are many more variables involved than just the size of the arsenal. The notion that everybody will just fire all their nukes at once is unrealistic. Silos can be attacked, comms can be disrupted, things can malfunction, there are a TON of things at play. Just looking at the nuclear stockpile makes no sense. In every military domain US has superior capabilities. No reason to believe that in case of nuclear war Russia would outperform the US. And after you're done firing nukes traditional military still matters.
Great. Now, put yourself in Ivan's shoes. NATO has encircled you, militarily and economically. Your military is second-rate, at best. But you do have six thousand nuclear weapons, which mean that nobody is stupid enough to mess with you.
... And then Uncle Sam starts building anti-nuclear defenses on your borders, with the long-term aim of eliminating the sole means of defense that you have.
If you're Ivan, to use your own words - of course you should attack! And what's the overall result? A missile defense system that is intended to save American lives actually ends up ending them, because its existence causes a nuclear war. It completely fails at its stated purpose!
> No reason to believe that in case of nuclear war Russia would outperform the US.
Outperform is completely meaningless in this context. Outperform means the difference between 68% of your population being killed in a thirty minutes, compared to 82% of the enemy's (With two thirds of the remainder dying over the next week). That's not winning. That's not outperforming on any metric that matters.
Once you're done firing nukes, you're country's traditional military doesn't matter because you no longer have a country. What you have is a humanitarian crisis, multiple orders of magnitude worse then whatever stupid geo-political spat your foreign ministries were arguing over.
If one side ends up controlling the other or there's a favorable truce to one side that side wins. All war is nasty and results in terrible destruction. Doesn't mean there's no winner at the end of it. I can throw random percentages around too. According to one simulation ("Crisis Relocation Program 2B") from the 80s given a few days of advance notice up to 80% of Americans could survive a nuclear war with Russia. One should strive to reduce potential casualties as much as possible.
Do relocation programs, shelters etc "violate MAD" in your book too? Because they certainly lessen the D part.
We know of at least two instances where Russians were close to erroneously launching nukes . Only stopped due to personnel disobeying procedures. It's almost inevitable one day someone somewhere will launch a nuke for whatever reason. Better be ready when that happens. Your strategy only kicks the can down the road and provides no way out. While in the meantime giving Russia and other adversaries all the reasons to keep continuing with their aggression. Is nobody allowed to ever attack Russia because of "MAD"?
Well, I think that's the first time I've been called Russian propaganda. I got a good chuckle out of that.
EDIT - I misunderstood the comment. I'm leaving my original reply intact above, however, for clarity.
I think you're going to need to start citing that, I'm not aware of any such plans. Certainly nothing that rises to the level of action (e.g. announcing the removal of a third of the US forces in Germany, as happened last week).
This is just a whataboutist response. While there is criticism to be made everywhere about all things, the idea that the Trump administration has NOT been extraordinarily compliant to Russian demands is just ridiculous.
The article even uses the term "NATO's eastern flank."
That math doesn't check out at all.
Germany has absolutely no need to have US soldiers stationed in their territory. They're fully capable - in all regards - of defending their own nation. Adding soldiers to Poland is strengthening the eastern flank because Poland is in Eastern Europe, Germany is not.
If the US removes 100% of its soldiers from Germany and adds only 3,000 to Poland, that also would be strengthening the eastern flank.
2. The US is in the process of building a military base in Poland.
> In 2018, Poland proposed that the United States open a permanent military base within its country. The Polish government would finance around $2 Billion of the cost of hosting American forces, if the proposal was accepted by the United States. Poland has proposed either Bydgoszcz, or Toruń, as potential base locations. Since 1999, Poland has sought closer military ties with the United States. In June 2019, both sides agreed to send 1,000 U.S. troops to Poland. In September 2019, six locations were determined to host approximately 4,500 of the U.S. military in Poland, including: Poznań, Drawsko Pomorskie, Strachowice, Łask, Powidz and Lubliniec.
3. Some of those troops will be moved from Germany to Poland.
> On 24 June 2020, Trump said at a press conference with Duda that the United States plans to move some U.S. troops from Germany to Poland. Trump said that "Poland is one of the few countries that are fulfilling their obligations under NATO — in particular, their monetary obligations — and they asked us if we would send some additional troops. ... I think [putting more US troops in Poland] sends a very strong signal to Russia."
Honestly, if you can't bother to do basic research about the situation, it's better to not comment on it.
> 1. Germany isn't on the Eastern Front. Poland actually borders Russia (the exclave on the Baltic.)
The Kaliningrad exclave is quite small, but it poses a real danger when the Suwalki Gap is taken into account. Given Belarus' friendly ties with Russia, there is only a small band of land that needs to be cut off to trap the Baltic states. It's important to secure that stretch. Ideally, Belarus would serve as a buffer, but that's a very difficult thing to achieve. Also good would be the ceding of Kaliningrad to Poland and Lithuania (historically, that region was a vassal of the Polish Crown). Perhaps in exchange for recognition of Russia's annexation of Crimea. Good luck with that, I guess.
Ideally, the Central European states east of Germany can play the US, Germany/EU, and Russia off each other to guarantee that the region is free from hegemonic dominance. Historically until the late 18th century, Polish dominance guaranteed stability and peace in the region. As both historical heir and as the largest country of the block, it is important the Poland resume its historical and geopolitically necessary role if Poland and the other states represented in the Three Seas Initiative are to remain free and prosperous. The stability offered would also benefit European stability by creating a bulwark against both Western and Eastern imperial ambitions.
> Trump administration has NOT been extraordinarily compliant to Russian demands is just ridiculous
Yes, this is completely false. The Trump administration has been tougher on pretty much everything involving Russian interests. From Ukraine, Iran, Syria, sanctions on Russia, to yes strengthening the eastern flank of NATO.
"The current EUCOM plan will reposition approximately 11,900 military personnel from Germany – from roughly 36,000 down to 24,000 – in a manner that will strengthen NATO, enhance the deterrence of Russia, and meet the other principles I set forth"
Is there any reason to be opposed to the existence of NATO other than: "I'd really like to invade country X, but can't because it's mean retaliation by x,y,z & n"
Or like NATO's Supreme Commander in Europe giving an order to attack your country's paratroopers ?
What was especially sad was that a highly knowledgeable group of people (HN) were misled and deceived by the Apple story (which could have been easy verified). If HN is so easily misled, how much more likely is the general population vulnerable to these foreign-government-orchestrated intentional information war campaigns?
Just because you work a high paying job and you're very good at it, that doesn't mean you are impervious to deceit.
Threads don't attract the same people. It's reasonable to suppose that the vast majority of people that didn't believe the story didn't participate at all - they said to themselves "this looks dumb/boring/improbable" and clicked on something else.