The Costs of Ukrainian Disarmament
Nations that disarm increase their chances of being attacked by nations that do not.
“Liberals can be disarming. In fact, they are for disarming anybody who can be disarmed, whether domestically or internationally.
Unfortunately, the people who are the easiest to disarm are the ones who are the most peaceful — and disarming them makes them vulnerable to those who are the least peaceful.
We are currently getting a painful demonstration of that in Ukraine. When Ukraine became an independent nation, it gave up all the nuclear missiles that were on its territory from the days when it had been part of the Soviet Union.
At that time, Ukraine had the third largest arsenal of nuclear weapons in the world. Do you think Putin would have attacked Ukraine if it still had those nuclear weapons? Or do you think it is just a coincidence that nations with nuclear weapons don’t get invaded?
Among those who later urged Ukraine to reduce its conventional, non-nuclear weapons as well was a new United States senator named Barack Obama. He was all for disarmament in 2005, and apparently is even now, as president of the United States. He has refused Ukraine’s request for weapons with which to defend itself.
As with so many things that liberals do, the disarmament crusade is judged by its good intentions, not by its actual consequences.
Indeed, many liberals seem unaware that the consequences could be anything other than what they hope for. That is why disarmament advocates are called “the peace movement.”
Whether disarmament has in fact led to peace more often than military deterrence has is something that could be argued on the basis of the facts of history — but it seldom is.
Liberals almost never talk about disarmament in terms of evidence of its consequences, whether they are discussing gun control at home or international disarmament agreements.
International disarmament agreements flourished between the two World Wars. Just a few years after the end of the First World War, there were the Washington Naval Agreements of 1921–22, which led to the United States’ actually sinking some of its own warships. Then there was the celebrated Kellogg-Briand Pact of 1928, in which nations renounced war, with France’s foreign minister, Aristide Briand, declaring, “Away with rifles, machine guns, and cannon!” The “international community” loved it.
In Britain, the Labour party repeatedly voted against military armaments during most of the 1930s. A popular argument of the time was that Britain should disarm “as an example to others.”
Unfortunately, Hitler did not follow that example. He was busy building the most powerful military machine in Europe.
Nor did Germany or Japan allow the Washington Naval Agreements to cramp their style. The fact that Britain and America limited the size of their battleships simply meant that Germany and Japan had larger battleships when World War II began.
What is happening in Ukraine today is just a continuation of the old story about nations that disarm increasing the chances of being attacked by nations that do not disarm.
Any number of empirical studies about domestic gun-control laws tell much the same story. Gun-control advocates seldom, if ever, present hard evidence that gun crimes in general, or murder rates in particular, go down after gun-control laws are passed or tightened.
That is the crucial question about gun-control laws. But liberals settle that question by assumption. Then they can turn their attention to denouncing the National Rifle Association.
But neither the National Rifle Association nor the Second Amendment is the crucial issue. If the hard facts show that gun-control laws actually reduce the murder rate, we can repeal the Second Amendment, as other amendments have been repealed.
If in fact tighter gun-control laws reduced the murder rate, that would be the liberals’ ace of trumps. Why then do the liberals not play their ace of trumps, by showing us such hard facts? Because they don’t have any such hard facts. So they give us lofty rhetoric and outraged indignation instead.”
1. The analogy between nation-states and private individuals is garbage. I won't argue it here, but it's easy to prove that it doesn't hold water.
2. Suppose for a moment that Ukraine had a nuclear arsenal, and you're Putin. You want your army to fan out and occupy the Crimean peninsula. Is Kyiv going to nuke Sevastopol to try to stop you? Is Kyiv going to nuke Moscow to punish you? Take five minutes to think about it.
3. Nuclear arsenals didn't deter Argentina from invading the UK's Falkland Islands, or al Qaeda from making war against New York and Washington DC. They didn't deter separatists in Chechnya and neighboring Caucasian territories from intensive armed warfare against the Russian army.
4. Given the poverty, periods of instability, and out-of-control corruption of Ukraine, what would it mean to the world if Ukraine HAD kept its nuclear arsenal? Take five minutes to think about it.
5. Considering the foregoing, if Ukraine had not given up its nuclear weapons, Russia COULD NOT HAVE TOLERATED UKRAINE'S INDEPENDENCE AT ALL. One way or another, Russia would have seized absolute control over Ukraine before the end of 1990s.
6. Ukraine's important disarmament -- of its USABLE deterrent -- is the weakness of its conventional military, which was pretty much forced by Ukraine's terribly weak economy. If Ukraine had a strong army, air force and navy, Russia would not have taken Crimea, and would have to tread very carefully with its neighbor.
For those of you who haven't studied nuclear strategy, the use of nuclear weapons against another nuclear weapon state would bring about such devastating consequences, that in practice they can't be used at all.
Nuclear arsenals are really effective against only two kinds of attack:
* attack using nuclear weapons
* other existential attack (threatening complete annihilation)
i didnt read the link,,, that style of thought is simply barbaric.
i'm in two places with Ukraine today,,, its broken lawfully and in a sense as a society, and i dont think it can be fixed without a massive change.
how that can come about i just dont know.
your definition of been armed lonely i don't actually agree with when it comes to Ukraine.
i just dont care for meat heads having arms.
once i saw girls that would almost orgasm over dude's and their lada's, it was rather funny really.
now it seems they do such over any fuckwit with a AK.
"pictures and film tell a thousand words"
as in Ukraine, they have shown up to date to be absolute crap how a country needs to preform as one, to get to a better place,, and the answer to their plight has nothing to do with arms.
their parliament members and local body's really are just street thugs who have only aged.
what i have seen in this land at times is just sad, its just broken.
even today they are just confused and lost with the events that have consumed them.
why they will possibly never be a part of the EU,,,, or a country we will ever look up to other then the heroics of persons in maiden square.
basically its a country thats ruled by corruption in every part of its structure.
wasnt it you lonely who gave an example of a simple hotel take over once? were you there or something? interesting seeing that on google anyhow.
its a land that really should never have a bomb or any substantial amount of arms period.
to me Ukraine's armed forces has something very in-common to a very famous British troop,, "Dads Army" google it if you are american..
why it shouldn't never ever be given gear that would for sure be used just wrongly.
their soldiers dont even know what sovereignty means let alone what they were sworn to protect once.
the answer here is not arms,,, they just dont have the means to out smart.
as in Ukraine if anyone can give me just one example where Ukraine has excelled in something to do with humanity i'm all ears?
i'm not speaking of individuals either.
and no, nuclear disarmament wasn't their choice.
i dont know lonely what the answer is, but how "we live" you and i is not always the answer for others.
i dont trust them, do you?
just look at their mess,, a very third world mess.
It’s okay durak, I understand some things can be difficult to accept.
Trying to argue that the people need nukes in order to be safe is a bit of a stretch,,,,, but not the FACT that being disarmed makes the people vulnerable.
From what I have been told by locals,, it is not 100% illegal to own a gun in Ukraine,,, but it is so difficult to purchase one, that only criminals/police have them. Since the fall of Viktor Yanukovych, the west has tried several times to dis-arm the protesters of Maiden? Can anyone think of a people that need weapons more than Ukrainians right now??
2. “Is Kyiv going to nuke Moscow to punish you?” Not likely,,, but maybe?? The best deterrent is one that never gets used. Putin would have to do a little more thinking before walking all over his neighbors like they’re helpless.
3. The Falkland Islands are rather distant for UK. And al Qaeda never invaded NY or DC!! Chechnya and the other caucuses were fighting for there survival,,, and hardly trying to invade Russia.
4. What about the poverty, corruption, and instability of Russia??? I know the sales pitch for Nuclear disarmament was to keep them out of the hands of terrorists and rogue countries,,, but don’t most of those rogue countries already have them?
5. Even with Nukes (Ukr) ,,, would Russia be threatened by Ukraine during peaceful times??? Without nukes, Ukraine has to live in fear of Russia’s every move and whim. Been reading any news lately???
6. With Russia as a neighbor,,,, turning in conventional weapons was pure insanity! I don’t know how many were turned in,,, but they should have kept them and built 5 times more!! Barack Obama had a direct role in disarming Ukraine,, and has been watching them struggle for months! This could be him being “flexible” for Russia. Ukraine gave away it’s weapons for the promise of being protected,,,,, and has been betrayed!
NEVER give away control of your own fate!
I think everyone knows that both sides had enough nukes to destroy the world several times over,,,, so why did they build so many??? Deterrent!
Kiwi,,, the author of that story wasn’t talking about the population of Ukraine being disarmed, but rather the stockpiles of weapons and ammo going bye bye. Not sure what happened to them,, moved or destroyed?
“its broken lawfully and in a sense as a society, and i dont think it can be fixed without a massive change.”
Yes, Ukraine has been lawless and corrupt for much of it’s history,,, and has been getting worse. That’s what the Maiden protests were all about, getting rid of Yanukovych,, so Ukraine could have a better future like Poland and East Germany, being closer to the EU. The thugs and puppets prevent change, and their elections are rigged. Change comes slowly when you’re helpless.
Yes, it was me at the Slavutich hotel during a hostile takeover. Apparently I slept thru a shooting. I came down to a lobby full of young soldiers wearing black, and older police men wearing Ukr blue jackets and even a green jacket. They paid absolutely no attention to me, so I stayed for another night.
Yes,,, we do live differently than they do,,, I live in the countryside where the biggest crime is finding a beer can in the ditch. Guns that have been in the family for over a hundred years and have shot NO-one.
Guns made this country what it is today,,,, do we want to take that same opportunity away from the Ukrainian people? I think they are tired of living in a 3rd world country and want something better.
Let me be a little more explicit. Imagine you're in Kyiv with your finger on the "red button." Russia moves in force into Ukrainian territory, seizing most the eastern half of the country, but hasn't yet come very near to Kyiv.
You know that if you push the button, the invasion will probably stop. You also know that Kyiv, Odesa, Lviv and perhaps Kharkiv will be erased from the map. Not merely lost to occupation by a hostile (but not exterminating) foreign power, but flattened with millions of Ukrainians dead: people who will remain alive and safe if you don't push the button.
You understand that the history of your country will have a horrifying dividing line: it will be on one side a second before you push the button, and on the other side a second afterward.
And by the way, now that millions of Russians and Ukrainians have been burned to death, does that guarantee that Russia will just "move out" and "leave Ukraine alone?"
At what moment does it make sense to push that button?
Consider what has happened in the last couple of months:
* Ukraine's president fled the country overnight like a rat (because actually, he is a rat)
* Ukraine's parliament deferred multiple times to a minority of violence-prone protesters
* displays of terrible morale, neglect, disloyalty and outright treason by elements of Ukraine's armed forces
* Ukraine's inability to keep hostile armed forces from roaming parts of its territory AT WILL
Imagine that such a state is responsible for the safety, security, command and control of an arsenal of combat-ready nuclear weapons: it would be a danger to the whole world.
I've stood next to a live nuke, and seen some parts of the highly intensive security systems used to protect these ultimate weapons in the USA. It takes a large force of highly trained, highly motivated, and unquestionably patriotic men and women to do this job right, and quite a lot of money.
Neither Russia, nor the West, could have tolerated an independent Ukraine with nuclear arms: not because of fears of Ukrainian aggression, but because of the risk that on any given day a nutcase or political extremist might put his hands on the nuclear trigger.
As to "turning in conventional weapons," I am not aware that this ever happened (correct me if I am wrong, I haven't researched this). When I wrote about self-disarmament, I meant Ukraine's military weakening by underinvestment. The weapons are still there, but they're of little help.
As far as I understand, Ukraine essentially inherited most of the Soviet military that was stationed on Ukraine's territory, a large and powerful (though far from up-to-date) array of weaponry.
Some portion of this arsenal was stolen and sold, or perhaps in some cases sold in slightly more legitimate ways. But Ukraine still has a vast stockpile of weapons and equipment.
What Ukraine doesn't have is anything new. Ukraine also forces of adequate size, adequate training, personal combat gear of sufficient numbers or modernity, decent morale, livable pay/pension rates, or professional leadership.
To fill in those huge gaps would require a lot of money. For a country with a very weak economy -- but worse, a huge percentage of that small economy sucked up by thieving oligarchs -- making sufficient investment would have been terribly difficult.
Ukraine still has a giant arsenal of weapons and ammunition, but they are practically useless without a large professional army and air force. "Military" is a game you can't play without money.
Again, I believe that Ukraine's real deterrent should have been its conventional military. Unlike nukes, which can never be actually used, conventional forces can be applied broadly or narrowly to focused targets. If Ukraine had a strong army and air force patrolling its eastern border, Putin wouldn't dare even to think about crossing it.
I *HOPE* that Ukraine is taking advantage of these weeks and months to train up their forces, improve readiness, and to root out disloyal officers and men. But I have seen no evidence that they are doing so.
Ukraine "self-disarmed" not by giving up weapons, but by maintaining the FSU level of lawlessness, thievery and corruption.
Kiwi put it very well: Ukraine's core problem is corruption. If Ukraine hadn't been so corrupt for 22 years, Russia would be no danger to it at all. Millions of Ukrainians want desperately to make their country clean: in the last days of February, more than 100 civilians died in that cause. Believe it or not, the clean-up has already begun. If Ukraine can make it through the next few weeks without Russia destroying them, they just might make it ... though the process will take years to come to maturity.
But if Ukraine DOES move toward European standards (boiled down, rule of law), then Russia won't be able to threaten them again. Ukraine's increasing stability and prosperity will enable it to guarantee its safety.
Having someone in Kyiv with their finger on the red button should be the deterrent to keep Russia out of Ukraine. And who said it has to be a “total release”??
They still say that the use of the atom B in Japan actually saved lives, by not having to invade mainland Japan?!
Yes, it takes money and expertise to maintain a nuke arsenal, but they have been maintaining several power plants around Ukraine,,,, and so far it has been Russia that dropped the ball. Chernobyl?
Yes, they did turn in a large stockpile of conventional weapons, and Obama as a young senator was behind it. If I find the article on it I’ll post it.
About Russia not being a threat,,,,,, that won’t ever happen. The US,,,,,, or at least one political party in the US didn’t consider Russia to be a relevant threat,,,, we NOW know better don’t we?
What Russia won’t allow, is Ukraine having a better lifestyle being closer to the west. Poland is already an embarrassment to Russia,,,, having it happen again in Ukraine would be too much,,, Putin’s own people would rise up.
The two combat uses of nuclear explosives were by a state that had a world monopoly of these weapons; Japan had no capacity to retaliate even with pea-shooters against the US. I think it likely that lives were saved, though how many is unclear.
If a single nuclear bomb exploded on Russian soil today, a very destructive response could be expected.
As I wrote above, Ukraine _today_ has far more conventional weapons and ammunition than it is capable of using -- including plenty of portable air defense weapons (MANPADs). Doubling or tripling the numbers would not strengthen its military.
What Ukraine needs is trained, paid, fed and loyal troops. It needs military training, leadership, and officers educated in tactical doctrine. It needs the supplies and infrastructure to get troops into the field quickly, at any required point, with all of the food, equipment, ammunition and other supplies they will require. It needs very basic modern equipment like body armor and personal combat radios -- these weren't part of the Soviet gear Ukraine inherited, but NATO troops, and more recently Russians, now have them as standard. It needs the latest air-defense systems and ground-attack aircraft, with highly trained crews to operate them.
Nuclear weapons are a very limited deterrent because you can't use them. Strong conventional forces are an excellent deterrent, because you can use them. Look at Israel: the surely have a large stockpile of nuclear warheads, and no one doubts that their delivery systems are highly capable. Does Israel rely on them for defense? Absolutely not! Israel maintains its ground and air forces at a very high strength and level of readiness. It can only use its nuclear weapons if a WMD attack is made against Israel, or a conventional attack (by a NON-nuclear enemy) threatens to completely overrun the country. For all other cases, Israel needs its conventional forces.
I would bet if a country let loose a nuke the world would condemn the act and do all it cold to prevent the ones being nuked from hitting back. By the way Ukraine did give up most of its conventional weapons and surface to air defense systems with a guarantee of protection that seems to have failed. You can argue about nukes all you want but if you know that the territory you want will end in defeat will you still push on? Putler is not stupid he knows he has Crimea and now he wants more of the natural resources in Ukraine. There is no real deterrent for Putin since he gains natural resources that can be sold to the world market. Europe cannot afford to stop the flow of these resources, to do so would ruin what economy is left in some countries.
ok lonely got ya, read it:)
that stuff they spoke of,,, weren't those ships more or less old junks of the States.
a lot of that stuff that was binned in a sense weren't really worth the effort in keeping in service yes.
look at the massive losses Russia had with Japan in some dream all war ships are a war ship.
one of Russia's worst defeats at sea because of junk.
political hog wash i would expect in that article,, but i am guessing.
actually Ukraine did hold back on a serious amount of nucs in another form that were never binned,,, non-ballistic,,,, they were nicknamed the "suitcase nuke" almost all were supposedly unaccounted for..
they were a serious thought by the States and Briton in the Bin Laden era.
i do agree with you Durak,, its a no brainier on what you are saying.
but your thoughts on Ukraine's capability's in hope is somewhat i'm guessing more hopeful then real.
personally i think Ukraine would have trouble against even our small armed forces here no matter how much fireworks they held.
why,, they just dont have the professionalism or the tactical decisiveness or talent in serious team work,,, its just that simple.
even without nucs lonely i dont think any country really is capable of being a true threat to the States, as in taking on your soil,, its just not feasible.
Durak,,, I think Israel relies on their nukes far more often than we might know? Israel is surrounded by it’s enemy,,, they all want it’s destruction. I don’t think Israel would still be on the map without their nukes.
for a few years now Russia has sent there fighter jets close to the united states airspace in Alaska, the pilots who intercept these planes know each other by call sign. I think Putin is just testing to see what he can get away with, they have already set off a missile capable of carrying a nuke it was downplayed as a test. I have to wonder was he testing Europe or America.