Author Topic: Picking Cain's Brains  (Read 18102 times)

Junkenstein

  • Technically-Oriented & Horribly Mobile Crecy of Crab Lice.
  • Deserved It
  • ****
  • Posts: 114894
    • View Profile
Re: Picking Cain's Brains
« Reply #165 on: June 09, 2016, 10:34:55 am »
Hey Cain,

Seeing as how this ISIS thing has gone on for quite a while now, is there any chance of consolidating a nation state out of this? I'm guessing you could possibly get a Crimea situation where a large enough chunk "votes" to join a neighbouring nation, if said nation had the military facilities to back up it's claim.

More broadly, how possible is it in general for terrorists who hold territory to stake a claim for sovereignty? I'm guessing the answer varies vastly on what territory you're trying to hold which is why there's some resistance in the middle east and far less in Africa. 


Nine naked Men just walking down the road will cause a heap of trouble for all concerned.

Cain

  • Alea iacta est
  • Chekha
  • Deserved It
  • ****
  • Posts: 105003
    • View Profile
Re: Picking Cain's Brains
« Reply #166 on: June 12, 2016, 05:47:55 pm »
Usually terrorists trying to take over a state take over an already established one.  It's easier that way, in terms of international recognition, the existing machinery of state etc.  See the FLN in Algeria for possibly the ur-example of this type of thing (then watch Algiers).

ISIS isn't looking too hot right now.  Seems like everyone has decided to put them at the top of their shitlist, and their primary strength has been playing the sides against each other while it did its own thing.  Now the Iraqi Army (+ Shiite death squads) are attacking from one side, the Kurds and SDF are taking huge swathes of territory in the north and the Syrian Arab Army is attacking in the south.

They'd also probably be getting attacked from the west, only there's a desert and a bunch of mountains there, effectively pinning them in place.  So they're kinda fucked.

More broadly speaking it is very hard to get recognition for a breakway region without great power (and specifically American) backing.  Russia has been supporting breakway statelets with far more claim to nationhood than IS for decades, and no-one except Russia and Belarus recognise those poor sods.  By and large America supports the international status quo, and the international status quo is to accept existing boundaries and states where possible.  Compared with the previous 150 years, the post-Cold War period has been remarkably stable in this particular way, and I suspect American strategists are afraid what could happen to that stability if that norm were undermined. 

And quite frankly, no-one wants anything to do with ISIS.  Even Turkey keeps their support covert, because they find ISIS repugnant on a very basic level.  No-one is going to waste their political capital on putting forward the case for Islamic State at the UN.  No-one wants to give Islamic State the right to build embassies, or treat their insurgents as professional soldiers.

Sooner or later we will have to talk with ISIS, because the alternative is a neverending bloodbath.  But I suspect most of the world prefers that conversation be done at gunpoint, and involves convincing moderate elements to stand down and accept incarceration for war crimes.

LMNO

  • Lubricated and Rabid Lungfish of Impending Sexdoom™
  • Deserved It
  • ****
  • Posts: 87071
  • Internet Fuckweasel of Haunted Pork Dimensions.
    • View Profile
    • Earfatigue Productions: When it has to sound like you give a shit.
Re: Picking Cain's Brains
« Reply #167 on: January 18, 2017, 05:14:53 pm »
Cain, what do you think of Samantha Powers' assessment of Russia in her UN report?
 Found here (yes, it's Vox): http://www.vox.com/world/2017/1/18/14300598/samantha-power-russia-final-speech

Basically, Russia finds it easier to gain power by destroying existing frameworks, but doesn't have a plan how to build new ones.

Cain

  • Alea iacta est
  • Chekha
  • Deserved It
  • ****
  • Posts: 105003
    • View Profile
Re: Picking Cain's Brains
« Reply #168 on: January 18, 2017, 05:35:43 pm »
Pretty much.  The only noteworthy contributions by Russia to international stability is the Commonwealth of Independent States, the Collective Security Treaty Organisation and the Eurasian Economic Community, which are basically warmed over, watered down variations on the EU, with little attempt to further integrate and all involving former Soviet territory.

All of those were also organizations founded in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

Junkenstein

  • Technically-Oriented & Horribly Mobile Crecy of Crab Lice.
  • Deserved It
  • ****
  • Posts: 114894
    • View Profile
Re: Picking Cain's Brains
« Reply #169 on: February 14, 2017, 03:36:52 pm »
Hey Cain,

I've been thinking about a few situations that may arise over the next few years in the US/UK and I think it may be worth talking about the national debts of both.

In the US, Trump has had no issues in going bang to escape debts. Is there any chance that he could try and pull the same shit on a nation state level? "It's too high, it's a bad deal, we're not paying it" kind of approach?

In the UK, in between the various bouts of brexit bullshit and austerity, the national debt gets a nod here and there too. I realised I had no idea what the total actually is, so wikipedia:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Kingdom_national_debt

Quote
The British Government debt is rising due to a gap between revenue and expenditure. Total government revenue in the fiscal year 2015/16 was projected to be £673 billion, whereas total expenditure was estimated at £742 billion. Therefore, the total deficit was £69 billion. This represented a rate of borrowing of a little over £1.3 billion per week.

It strikes me that if people are willing to believe that the NHS will get XXX extra million because brexit, what will they buy into if there's a possibility of £1.3 billion extra kicking around every week? I know that's not what it says, but almost certainly how it would get spun.

To try and summarise:

1 - Could the UK/US refuse to service the debts?
2 - What would/could the consequences of this decision realistically be?
2b - If(when) brexit turns everything to shit, will this raise the possibility of fucking off further payments?

I do have a few more questions and this may be worth it's own thread as we've all been dealing with this austerity bullshit in one fashion or another but the root causes of it are rarely spoken about (South Sea Company fuckery for instance with the UK).
Nine naked Men just walking down the road will cause a heap of trouble for all concerned.

Cain

  • Alea iacta est
  • Chekha
  • Deserved It
  • ****
  • Posts: 105003
    • View Profile
Re: Picking Cain's Brains
« Reply #170 on: February 14, 2017, 09:05:31 pm »
In theory yes, a nation-state can refuse to pay its debts.

These debts are created via the Treasury bonds.  In effect, the governments in question would refuse to pay owners of those bonds what they are owed.  So, as a consequence, the percieved value of those bonds would drop through a floor in such a steep way it would make the devaluation of sterling in the aftermath of the Brexit vote seem like a mere blip in comparison.  The yield of those who continued to purchase bonds would rise as a consequence, making borrowing more expensive while providing less benefit.

(incidentally, Japanese purchasers of US bonds are getting nervous enough about Trump that they are not buying bonds at previous levels under Obama and Bush II).

Markets would plunge around the world, and interest rates would also likely spike.  It would almost certainly lead to a depression in the country that did it, as well as large purchasers of bonds, such as Japan and China.

As for the UK doing it...I don't see it being likely.  They're not going to honour any promises regarding the NHS - what are people going to do, vote Labour or UKIP?  Trump...who the fuck knows what he is doing or thinking at any given time.  He's so economically naive he had to ring Michael "fired for consorting with the Russian Ambassador" Flynn and ask him if a weak or strong dollar was better for the US economy.

Cain

  • Alea iacta est
  • Chekha
  • Deserved It
  • ****
  • Posts: 105003
    • View Profile
Re: Picking Cain's Brains
« Reply #171 on: February 14, 2017, 09:22:24 pm »
And of course, aside from foreign governments, a large number of companies purchase UK bonds in particular.  The Bank of England also purchases them.  So companies would go bankrupt, in particular pension funds and other financial institutions.

Junkenstein

  • Technically-Oriented & Horribly Mobile Crecy of Crab Lice.
  • Deserved It
  • ****
  • Posts: 114894
    • View Profile
Re: Picking Cain's Brains
« Reply #172 on: February 14, 2017, 09:42:24 pm »
Much appreciated sir, this level of economics isn't a strong suit.

Still, I can't rule out trump trying something stupid here. It just seems inevitable, really. It worked for him on a personal level and I doubt any of the advisers are going to explain the consequences with the level of detail you just did. Hell, I'd bet that most of them couldn't anyway.
Nine naked Men just walking down the road will cause a heap of trouble for all concerned.

tyrannosaurus vex

  • a gas giant of idiots
  • Deserved It
  • ****
  • Posts: 26581
    • View Profile
Re: Picking Cain's Brains
« Reply #173 on: February 22, 2017, 05:02:48 am »
Trump could try to default on debt, but I'm not sure he actually has the unilateral power to do that. It's a flagrant violation of a specific and explicit provision of the Constitution for starters, and also Congress is the branch that writes the budget, not the President. Even if Trump did try to do something like that by ordering the Treasury Secretary to do something monumentally stupid, I can't imagine Congress (even if it is absolutely worthless in every other respect) standing by and allowing it. If anything can move them toward impeachment, the willful destruction of the entire economy would have to be it. But then again, it's Congress, so who knows.
Evil and Unfeeling Arse-Flenser From The City of the Damned.

LMNO

  • Lubricated and Rabid Lungfish of Impending Sexdoom™
  • Deserved It
  • ****
  • Posts: 87071
  • Internet Fuckweasel of Haunted Pork Dimensions.
    • View Profile
    • Earfatigue Productions: When it has to sound like you give a shit.
Re: Picking Cain's Brains
« Reply #174 on: June 06, 2017, 02:25:36 pm »
Dear Cain:

On a scale from covfefe to bigly, how bad is the Qatar situation?


Cain

  • Alea iacta est
  • Chekha
  • Deserved It
  • ****
  • Posts: 105003
    • View Profile
Re: Picking Cain's Brains
« Reply #175 on: June 06, 2017, 06:27:39 pm »
It's somewhat bigly.

It's basically every measure short of slapping sanctions on them and declaring war.  Qatar has been acting like a dick for a long time, and its support for the Muslim Brotherhood has not won it allies in Egypt or Saudi Arabia, as well as its funding of extremist factions in Libya (which contributes to Egypt's mess).

It looks like the KSA, UAE and Egypt have decided to use Trump's speech as an opportune time to lay the blame at the feet of Qatar for all Sunni terrorist funding in the Middle East, and claim its conspiring with Iran at the same time (because that makes total sense).  Qatar has been trying to use its links to the MB and terrorist groups to improve its standing in the Middle East and make itself into a power player on a par with Iran, KSA and Turkey, but clearly they overstepped their boundaries with regards to the existing power players of the GCG. 

Qatar's foreign policy has also been on collision course with KSA for a while.  Yes, the KSA is going all out in Syria, but that's because Syria is an Iranian ally - it doesn't want the chaos to spread any further than that (of course, that maybe they shouldn't support terrorism in Syria to avoid overseas chaos never occurs...), while Qatar has, through the Muslim Brotherhood, undermining the more traditional monarchies and military dictatorships in the region.  That, Saudi Arabia does not like one bit.

LMNO

  • Lubricated and Rabid Lungfish of Impending Sexdoom™
  • Deserved It
  • ****
  • Posts: 87071
  • Internet Fuckweasel of Haunted Pork Dimensions.
    • View Profile
    • Earfatigue Productions: When it has to sound like you give a shit.
Re: Picking Cain's Brains
« Reply #176 on: June 06, 2017, 06:58:57 pm »
Wow.  So how do you see it all playing out?

Cain

  • Alea iacta est
  • Chekha
  • Deserved It
  • ****
  • Posts: 105003
    • View Profile
Re: Picking Cain's Brains
« Reply #177 on: June 06, 2017, 10:56:47 pm »
Poorly.  Qatar is the forward base for CENTCOM.

Cain

  • Alea iacta est
  • Chekha
  • Deserved It
  • ****
  • Posts: 105003
    • View Profile
Re: Picking Cain's Brains
« Reply #178 on: June 06, 2017, 11:20:40 pm »
And CNN just ran this...

https://amp.cnn.com/cnn/2017/06/06/politics/russian-hackers-planted-fake-news-qatar-crisis/index.html

Quote
US investigators believe Russian hackers breached Qatar's state news agency and planted a fake news report that contributed to a crisis among the US' closest Gulf allies, according to US officials briefed on the investigation.

The FBI recently sent a team of investigators to Doha to help the Qatari government investigate the alleged hacking incident, Qatari and US government officials say.

Intelligence gathered by the US security agencies indicates that Russian hackers were behind the intrusion first reported by the Qatari government two weeks ago, US officials say. Qatar hosts one of the largest US military bases in the region.

The alleged involvement of Russian hackers intensifies concerns by US intelligence and law enforcement agencies that Russia continues to try some of the same cyber-hacking measures on US allies that intelligence agencies believe it used to meddle in the 2016 elections.

LMNO

  • Lubricated and Rabid Lungfish of Impending Sexdoom™
  • Deserved It
  • ****
  • Posts: 87071
  • Internet Fuckweasel of Haunted Pork Dimensions.
    • View Profile
    • Earfatigue Productions: When it has to sound like you give a shit.
Re: Picking Cain's Brains
« Reply #179 on: June 07, 2017, 04:17:21 pm »
Suddenly, isolationism is sounding less horrible...

[/selfish murkin]