Thursday, October 02, 2008

The SHÄDY ÄCRES guide to world affairs

OK, so I went ahead and calculated the relative strength of the world's armies at this stage in history. You can thank me later.

I have meticulously compared global military expenditures, factoring in known generational differences in arms technology, size of nuclear arsenal (where applicable), recent combat performance, level of branch jointness and stated operational doctrines, plus a few basic demographic, economic and political factors. Where the data was outdated or not available I simply applied my finely tuned instinct for these things and made qualified guesses.

Can we trust my calculations? My answer is, yes, we probably can, within a margin of error.

These are the armies of the world as they stand today:

You will notice how the green guys, the Ericans, make up a huge percentage. Erican military spending comprises about 47% of the global total. Recent underperformance in Iraq and Afghanistan notwithstanding, the Ericans will fuck you up good - if they can agree on a time and place to do it. They sit on the largest nuclear arsenal, and even if the current crisis continues they still have vast industrial capacity. The NATO alliance, though worn thin by Erican disregard for reciprocity, diplomacy, military honour and international law, is still a formidable league.

And then we have the three reddish guys right at the bottom there. Let's call them Ivan, Pjotr and Vladimir.

At this point in history Russia is weak, at least compared to Erica. The Russian Federation relies on mobilization, with a conscription time of 1 1/2 year. The Red Army musters 1.1 million men under arms at any given time, with a core of maybe 150.000 cadres. They have serious weaknesses in terms of operational doctrine and jointness; the air, navy and army branch don't cooperate as they should, and their general infantry units are of low quality. Using special forces in the infantry role as they did in Georgia is like using a microscope to hammer a nail into a wall - it'll get the job done, sure, but it's expensive in the long run.

In naval technology they're also lagging behind, even if their Shkval torpedo system is pretty innovative. They have only one (1) aircraft carrier in operation, built at the best of the old Soviet Black Sea wharfs, which, unfortunately for the Russians, is now part of the Ukraine. They say they're planning six new carriers, but where would they build them? Vladivostok? Murmansk?

Their best planes, the 4th generation Sukhoi fighters, are no match for NATO fighters of generation 4.5 or higher. The 5th generation Sukhoi PAK FA, a joint Russo-Indian venture, is still in production. They do possess a decent anti-aircraft SAM system, the S 300 and S 400. In a few years they'll have their own independent GPS system up and running, the GLONASS.

They still have nuclear capacity, even if many of the old Soviet launch sites are now in places like Kazakhstan. The only problem with having a nuclear arsenal is that a) it's extremely expensive and b) it's a deterrent, not a weapon. You can't use nuclear missiles for anything, really. You can neither defend nor conquer terrain with them, because, well, they fuck stuff up.

In short: Compared to Erica, the Russians don't bring much to the fight, except maybe a huge cock and a pair of hairy balls to go with it.

Meanwhile, since the Soviet collapse, Erica has been buying up properties all along the Russian border, building airstrips and oil pipes and making friends with all the nasty little dictatorships and capitalist robber baronies that sprang up like radioactive mushrooms in the vacuum left by the Warsaw Pact.

Let's take a closer look at one of these lovely places. Which country in the world uses the largest percentage of its GNP for military expenditure? OK, that's North Korea. But which country comes a close second? I'll give you a hint: It's Georgia.

Yes, that beacon of democracy in the Caucasus. These brain surgeon types use a whopping 15% of their annual GNP on murder hardware. In comparison, at the height of he cold war, the requirement for NATO membership was a measly 2%. Here's a question: Where do they get all these weapons? The answer is, they get them mostly from Erica, from France and also from our good friends in Israel, devoted to ethnic cleansing and disregard of UN resolutions since 1948.

Another question: What does Georgia want with all those weapons? The answer is, they want to subjugate a whole bunch of people who have stated very clearly, on more than one occasion, that they don't want anything to do with them. So in august 2008 Georgia invaded the breakaway republic of South Ossetia, to "quell disturbances" and "secure its frontiers".

Russia of course intervened. Why wouldn't they? About 90% of the people in South Ossetia hold Russian citizenship.

NATO was not officially party to the invasion, but during the conflict, about 800 Georgian troops and 11 tons of cargo were moved from Iraq to Georgia by eight US Aviation flights. When the Georgian state servers were crippled by Russian hackers, the Georgian information war continued from servers in Poland.

Poland, Poland... Wait a minute, isn't that where Erica is building a huge missile defense system in circumvention of like a dozen treaties with Russia? I love how they call it a rocket shield, when in truth it's actually just more rockets. Don't you? To set up a huge missile park literally on the border of Russia can only be seen as a deliberate provocation. When the Soviets did more or less exactly the same to Erica, in Cuba in 1962, it nearly triggered a third world war.

During the brief Georgia conflict, Western media were portraying the Russians as one-dimensional Soviet aggressors. We kept getting these news stories headlined "Genocide!" and "Russia breaks off relations with NATO!", and then further down the page we could read how it was in fact NATO which first broke off relations with Russia, not the other way around, and the genocide turned out to be a satellite photo of some houses on fire. The bläggers were all fired up about it too, and they mostly bought the mainstream russophobe angle.

But what really happened?

Well, think of Georgia as Russia's crazy ex-girlfriend. They were together for a while, but then when Russia lost his job and fell on hard times, Georgia was all like: What have you done for me lately? and she split. She took some of Russia's best CDs with her, but in the emotional turmoil she forgot her favorite sweater.

Then after a while Georgia becomes involved with this thoroughly corrupt butch cop named Erica. Erica is happy to crash at Georgia's flat after her shift, but she doesn't want to hold hands in public or anything. All Georgia ever talks about is how she wants her sweater back, and Erica is all like: Will you please shut up?

But Georgia just goes on and on about her ex-boyfriend and the sweater, and finally Erica says, OK, if you want that sweater back so badly, why don't you just go get it? I'll come with you to see you're OK.

So Georgia goes to get her sweater back while Erica, on her way to pick up another pay-off from the mob, waits in the patrol car outside Russia's flat. Time passes. What the hell is taking her so long? Then Georgia comes back - without the sweater. What happened? Where's the sweater? Georgia just blushes.

Then Russia comes to the door, reeking of vodka, and he goes: Hey pig! She may be with you now, but I can still fuck her anytime I want, and he slams the door shut.

Erica just looks at Georgia, all like, what the fuck bitch? And Georgia says: I'm sorry, I couldn't help it. He has a really huge cock.

So now I ask you - friends, Finnmärskers, countrymen - what's the real problem here? One drunken guy with a huge cock, or the corrupt and brutal police force which sends out poor misguided nymphomaniacs to collect sweaters? I think you'll find that if you look into your hearts, the answer is self-evident. Thank you for your time. No really, thank you.


Anonymous WhoDoIKnowFromPoland said...

I think the WORST thing in such matters is the inevitable and actually IMPOSSIBLE to being answered question -
Caucasus - how did it started? Who was there first? Who ruled that land in some ancient, medieval history BEFORE anyone even thought about building communistic Empire and Erica wasn't even discovered?
I'm usually fascinated by such questions, because they actually may give some hint why things are the way they are. Warsaw pact, and earlier Yalta pact, and earlier Ribbentrop-Molotov pact... Do you see my point? And this question of course torments me every now and then because I come from Poland, and the borders of my country were shifting from the Black Sea to Baltic.
The trouble with Caucasus is that it's like a huge chessboard, except that the squares are not black and white. They come in variety of colors, and each color represents some nation, tribe, ethnical group that would like to live in their own country.
Ericans of course have no right to this land, but I think Russia has neither. Historically (then again, how deep into history should we go?), these Russians who live there came there just like Dutch came to Africa. They were colonists. Once the land was conquered it was considered to be Russia, even if ethnically it was not. Yes, they are there for a very long time, but does that judge their right to stay and decide for the rest of people who live there?
In a way this conflict was also kind of showing off on Georgia's side. Consider timing - just when OL started and all these smart guys were just there, in Asia. SO Georgian boss thought perhaps that this will make his actions more justified. Or that he would somehow get away with it. But on the other hand, people in different countries now sit and think - what if this tendency goes further? Like in Poland. What will happen to Silesia? Should we give it away to Germany? And should we claim Lithuania now? And last, but not least, what will happen to Ukraine? It used to be Russian as well, and I guess Russians would LOVE to get their hands on Krym and Black Sea coast. But again, do they have a right to do it, even if pro-russian tendencies are very strong in the easter part of Ukraine? I don't think so, although Russians did a lot to make it possible. During agricultural reforms in thirties Stalin starved to death about 10 millions people there. Almost all intelligents were killed. Nowadays only 60% Ukrainians speak Ukrainian. The rest speak Russian. And such was, and is the situation in other former republics of CCCP. Indoctrination started early and Russian - language of invaders, after all, was always official language. And when it comes to Ossetia, I don't think the fact that these people speak Russian language makes them Russians. I think they are Ossetians, but if they stayed as a part of Georgia, they would be Georgians. Something they obviously don't want.
What is odd, is that they seem to be unaware of the fact that getting away from the Russia embrace may be rather difficult.
And yes, Ericans... they always feel they are on a "mission from God". This probably has sth to do with their history. Just think - frst conquestadors. They came, saw all these Indians living in their tents, wearing loosely bounded pieces of leather and thought "oh, poor guys, they don't have proper housing or clothes, and they don't even believe in God, so they will end up in hell. So their life on Earth is a misery, and when they die, it's going to be even worse! We HAVE TO do something with it." And so they continue to do, even today. They just have to come to the rescue, even if there's no need to rescue.
Overall, it's terribly complicated and makes my brain swirling.
Did I mention I find the sweater metaphore outstanding? Well I do. It's brilliant.
Plus, did you read "Empire" by Ryszard Kapuscinski? Damn, the guy was right about plenty of things.

6:26 pm  
Blogger Mikkel said...

What was the middle part?

6:38 pm  
Anonymous WhoDoIKnowFromPoland said...

Middle part of what? Damn I wish I knew, but it's Friday night and I'm a bit lost in beer haze.
How much for the oil version of Blå Huset?

9:20 pm  
Blogger Mikkel said...

That depends. Are you paying in qindarkë or lek? I have to warn you, though. The oil version doesn't exist.

10:18 pm  
Blogger Sara said...

I´m definately going to the Easter part of Ukraine. It sounds so quaint.

11:24 pm  
Anonymous WhoDoIKnowFromPoland said...

After carefull stock market analysis I think I'll pay in lammelår. In these dangerous times trading goods is the safest option.
Quiant or not, try Odessa. Might be they would do the same as Osetia, if it wasn't this historical grudge against Russians.

4:05 pm  
Blogger Lasse said...

I think paying in Lammelår is a wise choice!
Very, very interesting and inspirering reading - also the comments. Thank you for clearing that corner of the world up for me.

But the solution is definitely to buy her a NEW sweater.

4:21 pm  

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