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Russia: Return of the Cold War

NavyBuyer

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#1
This morning Putin delivered the Russia equivalent to the State of the Union Address. During part of it he essentially put the US back on notice that they are nuclear armed and we need to listen to them. They are also building up their stockpile of nuclear weapons as we are shrinking ours. Will this shift the tide in our nuclear program to grow, especially since our current POTUS is already threatening NK?

I personally would like to see an increase in our cyber programs. We know countries like Russia and NK are expanding in that arena and with everything requiring some type of connectivity, you can't nuke your way out of everything.
 

Ocoka

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#2
...I personally would like to see an increase in our cyber programs. We know countries like Russia and NK are expanding in that arena and with everything requiring some type of connectivity, you can't nuke your way out of everything.
You can't nuke your way out of anything against a major power without MAD. Building stockpiles of nukes only leads to bigger stockpiles. Once you and your adversary have enough to incinerate half the planet, it becomes a kind of pointless stalemate.

With cyber warfare you eliminate the unpleasantness of megadeaths and long-term radiation...and theoretically can do crippling damage.
 

Poccington

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#4
You’ve left out China.
Particularly important given that Xi has now dismantled the presidential term limits that previously existed. Him and China are in this for the long haul.
 

NavyBuyer

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#5
China is an interesting player for sure, but they aren't seen as our greatest WMD threat at the moment.

Cyber side, yes. Russia, China, and quickly growing NK, are all adversaries that we should be watching out for.
 

Devildoc

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#6
I tried to find it but I read a great article this week about this. There is no surprise why the Russians have a hard-on for the US: after the wall fell, we should have done more to help them grow their new capitalist economy; we keep expanding NATO and wargaming against Russia; we have been opposed to just about every one of their foreign policy goals. But after the Cold War when we (wrongly) thought we were all chummy and restructured out military and intelligence, they did not. Every move the US made, they assumed had an anti-Russia undertone.
 

Ocoka

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#8
Particularly important given that Xi has now dismantled the presidential term limits that previously existed. Him and China are in this for the long haul.
Yeah, that was a pretty illuminating development. They've even written his name into the constitution which gives his person and agenda a kind of Mao-like status...at least for now. We're gonna have to watch that motherfucker.

...If anyone launches we’ve all lost...Cyber is the front of the future.
Yes and yes and add economic warfare after cyber.

With the possible exception of Pakistan, or some other nuke-capable third world shithole, nobody's going to nuke anybody else. The PRC doesn't want to nuke anybody, it's bad for business...and if the Chinese are anything, they are shrewd businesspeople. Putin, I think, aside from being a macho man, is nostalgic for the good old days of the Cold War, when he was in his prime. Honestly, I think that's part of his psychological profile.
 
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#9
The recently released Nuclear Posture Review called out Russia in a big way, and began to pave the way for a more diverse nuclear arsenal. This could, in part, be a response to that.
 
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#10
Sit down, grab a beer and put your feet up, this is going to be a long one.

As far as what I've been able to gather one of the sole reasons America is "lagging behind" now in terms of cyber space is due to the multitude of leaks that have occurred in the past 15+ years (Snowden, Shadow Brokers, Harold Martin, Kaspersky, Vault7, etc. ad nauseam). Even then, its less that we're falling behind and more of our rivals catching up through stolen Intel instead of through individual ingenuity. Look to China's fancy new stealth fighter which has many of the same characteristics that are individual to our own F35 for a prime example of our rivals paying "homage" to us.

In terms of a nuclear conflict, I sincerely believe it'll never occur outside of either a terror organization signing their own death warrant, or through human/computer error. At this point in human history I think all of the players know that if anyone decided to go ahead with a launch it would be the end of the world and no one would win.

What will most likely happen is continued micro wars between smaller states with background support through the big guys (Read: US, China, Russia). With "direct" conflict between said big guys occuring through economic and cyber warfare. I have no doubt that the US intelligence community will recover from this, with increased interest in recruiting in the various branches and not to mention the monumental embarrassments the NSA/CIA have suffered recently will increase funding and a drive for further advancement to get "back on top" so to speak.

In terms of Russia putting us on watch I believe it has more to do with China experiencing a surge in nationalism and militaristic interest unseen since Mao, Russia is looking to piggy back this new attitude and find someone to buddy up with so they can have support when it comes to confronting the US (i.e. trying to put us on watch). We're going to be seeing this attitude not only from China but from Russia for the foreseeable future, as previously stated Xi Jingping basically becoming president for life, and Putin moving to do the same with his latest act of essentially barring Alexei Navalny from even running.

Looking to the future, it will be interesting to see what the successor of Jingping will do, especially considering his predecessor Hi Jintao abdicated all positions of power after his term was up and in all honesty Jingping is a complete outlier in terms of the presidents China has had. In addition to whether Putin can continue his grip on the political spectrum in Russia.

In short, Russia while having made significant advancements in terms of cyber warfare and socio-political manipulation, is still playing second fiddle to China as well as fielding an outdated and quite frankly obsolete nuclear strategy. As long as Xi Jingping continues his strong rule and keeps advancing Chinese interests we'll continue to see Russia acting boldly.

Apologies if this appears convoluted or confusing, tell me and I'll be more than happy to explain further.
 
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#11
I agree with you on most of this, but I would like to hear more on your thoughts about Russia's obsolete military strategy. The US is so worried about their nuclear strategy that the new NPR specifically addressed their large and unaccounted-for arsenal of low-yield/non-strategic nuclear weapons.
 
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#12
I agree with you on most of this, but I would like to hear more on your thoughts about Russia's obsolete military strategy. The US is so worried about their nuclear strategy that the new NPR specifically addressed their large and unaccounted-for arsenal of low-yield/non-strategic nuclear weapons.

I meant that in terms of going for the old cold war strategy of building a stockpile of nuclear weapons, however, what's the likelihood of a nuclear conflict developing between us? In the Gun Control thread, @amlove21 explains his position and thinking in regards to the possibility of the US government confiscating all of the weapons in the US. Is it a possibility? Definitely. However, what are the actual odds of that happening? Like him I'm willing to put my money on never.

Same concept applies to the possibility of a nuclear conflict occurring between the major powers, is it a possibility? Yeah. But same with this I'm willing to wager that it will never occur, and if for whatever reason it does. Then I guess I'll be eating crow while I die from radiation sickness (thanks Offut). In regards to NPR and other MSM outlets covering nuclear arms and warfare, is that nuclear anything will always have a boogeyman status, whether it be energy, weapons or warfare.

At some point you have to decide what to actually devote your time and energy into worrying about and whether it's worth it or not, and in my opinion reliving a nuclear arms race, is one of the worst possible uses for our time.
 
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#14
NPR meaning Nuclear Posture Review as mentioned earlier. My bad for not specifying.
No that's my fault, I haven't read it yet but downloading it now and I'll take a look. Still, going into it I feel like we have to realistically look at the odds of Russia kicking off a nuclear conflict, naturally the DoD has to plan for and assess any potential threats to CONUS regardless of how unlikely they may be.

But who knows maybe the NPR will sway me otherwise.
 

Ocoka

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#15
Even low-yield tactical nukes are the boogeyman, because--like chemical weapons--any detonation raises the stakes of conflict and begs an ascending retaliation. Use them at your peril. And thus we arrive once again at the brink of stalemate.
 
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AWP

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#17
In terms of Russia putting us on watch I believe it has more to do with China experiencing a surge in nationalism and militaristic interest unseen since Mao, Russia is looking to piggy back this new attitude and find someone to buddy up with so they can have support when it comes to confronting the US (i.e. trying to put us on watch). We're going to be seeing this attitude not only from China but from Russia for the foreseeable future, as previously stated Xi Jingping basically becoming president for life, and Putin moving to do the same with his latest act of essentially barring Alexei Navalny from even running.
I like your post, but disagree with this paragraph. Russia and China have a past littered with conflict/ "microaggressions", so I can't see them buryinig the hatchet for the sake of offsetting the US.

PK/ India is about the only chance this world has for a nuclear exchange and neither side will do that except in the event of a mortal danger/ our country's being overrun scenario.

Cyber is the future and we're lagging far behind, at least 5 years IMO.
 

NavyBuyer

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#18
I'm going slightly off topic with this but since i started it by saying we should invest in cyber, what's the best way to recruit the best cyber minds to serve in the Government? As a contractor under a ridiculously high contract? Letting them serve in the military without having the same PT standard or rank? What drives people to work for Google or any other tech company? Money? The cool factor?

Just throwing money at a problem doesn't always solve it. There are some DoD organizations that are trying to tap into the private sector cool factor with how they approach the acquisition process (DIUx), but they are such a unique organization that won't work force wide.
 
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Dame

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#19
I like your post, but disagree with this paragraph. Russia and China have a past littered with conflict/ "microaggressions", so I can't see them buryinig the hatchet for the sake of offsetting the US.

PK/ India is about the only chance this world has for a nuclear exchange and neither side will do that except in the event of a mortal danger/ our country's being overrun scenario.

Cyber is the future and we're lagging far behind, at least 5 years IMO.
Agree with the idea that Russia and China do not trust each other and would rather go it alone. However, as far as what is really important (i.e. cyber) I could see the Russians piggy backing on the Chinese and their wholesale exploitation of cyber intel.

I'm going slightly off topic with this but since i started it by saying we should invest in cyber, what's the best way to recruit the best cyber minds to serve in the Government? As a contractor under a ridiculously high contract? Letting them serve in the molest without having the same PT standard or rank? What drives people to work for Google or any other tech company? Money? The cool factor?

Just throwing money at a problem doesn't always solve it. There are some DoD organizations that are trying to tap into the private sector cool factor with how they approach the acquisition process (DIUx), but they are such a unique organization that won't work force wide.
NSA and others have been recruiting warm bodies for a while but two issues (other than the cool factor). 1. Clearance. 2. Location. They need people who can clear and are willing to live in NoVA or MD.
 

NFB19

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#20
I'm going slightly off topic with this but since i started it by saying we should invest in cyber, what's the best way to recruit the best cyber minds to serve in the Government? As a contractor under a ridiculously high contract? Letting them serve in the molest without having the same PT standard or rank? What drives people to work for Google or any other tech company? Money? The cool factor?

Just throwing money at a problem doesn't always solve it. There are some DoD organizations that are trying to tap into the private sector cool factor with how they approach the acquisition process (DIUx), but they are such a unique organization that won't work force wide.
To my understanding, the DoD simply cannot match the private sector in salary and freedom of work. Why would talented, college educated individuals with a highly sought after talent pass up a starting six figure salary working 9 to 5 for O1 pay and a more demanding/stressful work environment in the DoD?
Regardless, the Navy (I can only speak to the Navy) cyber community isn't expanding fast enough. At the Academy everyone is required to take two semesters of cyber. They push for more and more Computer Science, Information Technology, and Cyber Security majors. They've began building a multi-million dollar academic building specifically for the Cyber department (no other single department has its own building). This is all well and good, but when they only allow 1% of every graduating class to enter Cyber Command, it shows there's a difference between what the DoD wants to do/is doing and what they are actually doing.