?

What event do you think signified the "start" of Cold War II?

  1. Russian invasion of Georgia (2008)

    1 vote(s)
    12.5%
  2. Euromaidan Protests (2013/2014)

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  3. Russia's annexation of Crimea (2014)

    1 vote(s)
    12.5%
  4. Russian military incursion into eastern Ukraine (2014)

    1 vote(s)
    12.5%
  5. Shootdown of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 (2014)

    1 vote(s)
    12.5%
  6. Russian military intervention in Syria (2015)

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  7. Turkish shootdown of Russian Su-24 bomber (2015)

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  8. Russia's deployment of nuclear weapons in Crimea (2015)

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  9. PM Dmitry Medvedev's official acknowledgement of Cold War II (2016)

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  10. The Cold War never really ended - we were too excited about the collapse of the USSR

    2 vote(s)
    25.0%
  11. Other (specify)

    2 vote(s)
    25.0%
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  1. JadeX
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    JadeX Active Member

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    The Second Cold War is officially underway - but when did it begin?

    Discussion in 'Debate Room' started by JadeX, Mar 15, 2016.

    On February 13, 2016, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev took the stage at the Munich Security Conference and announced, almost in a formal manner, that a new cold war has begun. He went on to say "Sometimes I wonder if this is 2016 or 1962" - a subtle, yet unmistakeable reference to the Cuban Missile Crisis.

    Medvedev's remarks in Munich come after NATO conducted a simulated war game involving a conflict in the Baltics leading to a war between Russia and NATO (which did not end well for the Baltic states), prompting a negative response from the Kremlin. Recently, the United States had multiplied its military spending in Europe, and Russian submarine activity had increased to levels unseen since the First Cold War - in fact, the French Navy located a nuclear-armed Russian sub off its coast in the Bay of Biscay. Espionage efforts have also increased, with a Russian banker having been arrested in NYC accused of participating in a Russian spy ring - charges which he has since plead guilty to.

    "The Nuclear Arms Race Is Alive and Well", say some analysts, and indeed it seems so - Russia plans to test 16 ICBMs this year, 14 of which will be new missiles entering service for the first time. The United States has upgraded its B61 nuclear bomb, announcing that the new B61-12 will enter service in Europe - which Russia claims is a violation of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and vows to respond. In February, the United States displayed a show of force to Russia by test launching two Minuteman III ICBMs in the same week from Vandenberg Air Force Base.

    The Mediterranean Sea - which has been controlled solely by NATO since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 - has also become a point of contention, with Russia re-establishing a permanent air and naval presence on the coast of Syria. Ever since 9/11, the Mediterranean has played a vital role in the War on Terror, with allied forces using the sea to launch cruise missiles and airstrikes at terrorist targets in Syria, Iraq, and Libya. Allied success in the War on Terror has been greatly supported by NATO's ability to roam the Mediterranean Sea alone - but with Russia now re-entering the region for the first time in a quarter of a century, there is a greater risk of miscalculation and potential naval conflict. Also worth mentioning, Russian naval access to the Mediterranean places every NATO capital - and indeed, almost all of Europe - within striking range of Russian submarines.

    And indeed, as tensions between NATO and Russia grow colder, the rhetoric is heating up. NATO's Supreme Allied Commander, Philip Breedlove, names Russia as an "existential threat" to the Western world, and claims that NATO is "prepared to fight and win World War 3".

    Public perception also continues to worsen: According to a Gallup poll, in 2015, the percentage of Americans who consider Russia a "critical threat" increased from 32% to 49%; unfavourable ratings of Russia increased to 70%, while favourable ratings plummeted to 24%. Meanwhile, in Russia, positive views of the US fell to 13%, while negative views of the US shot up to 81% - the worst perception of the US since the Stalin era. Positive views of the EU fell to 20%, with negative views of the EU increasing to 71%. Statistics for 2016 are not in yet, but are expected to continue along this pattern.

    There is simply no denying now that Cold War II has officially begun, and it is well underway. But, when, exactly, did the Second Cold War start? Answer in the poll, and feel free to discuss!
     
  2. X Equestris
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    X Equestris Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'd say the invasion of Georgia is where this all began, though it never really ended. Russia was just too weak after the Soviet Union collapsed to do much. Then Putin pieced it back together and Russia started seeing how far they could push. Of course, this downturn in oil prices might end it, if Russia doesn't come to blows with a major power first. Their economy has really been sliding as of late.
     
  3. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    If you want my opinion, I think this all started on September 11, 2001.
     
  4. Wayjor Frippery
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    Wayjor Frippery Contributing Member

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    At the risk of sounding flippant, I'd say the "current Cold War" is a new name for a very old conflict. If I had to pick a trigger event, I'd say it was the signing of the Treaty of Gulistan in October 1813. Imperial Russia and Persia (Iran) had been at war for nearly a decade. The Persians lost and were forced to give up a big chunk of land in what is now Georgia and Azerbaijan. This pissed off the British (who had been helping the Persians and were worried about a possible Russian attack on British India), and kicked off what came to be known as the "Great Game" between Britain and Russia. This was the 19th century Cold War. It continues to this day although its name and strategic objectives have changed over the years and Britain handed one of the chief belligerent's batons to the US at the end of the Second World War. Russia still has its baton well in hand.

    Same shit. Different day.
     
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  5. TheRealStegblob
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    TheRealStegblob Active Member

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    Just another idiot saying "THE NEW COLD WAR IS HERE", nothing to see here. If you believe any of the people who say stuff like that, 'the second cold war' has begun, what, over a dozen times now?
     
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  6. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    I honestly don't worry about it, but that was my estimate on when this "Second Cold War" thing started.
     
  7. TheRealStegblob
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    TheRealStegblob Active Member

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    Well that international relations and geopolitical worldwide conflict is at an impressively poor point at the moment (Ukraine crisis, North Korea doing whatever it wants with foreign citizens, immigrant crisis, entire countries 'picking sides', etc), going so far as to say "THE SECOND COLD WAR" is not only overly dramatic and stupid, but downright disrespectful to how powerful the actual cold war truly was. It's like people who say shit like "Donald Trump is Hitler" and stuff. Grow up and get with reality.
     
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  8. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    Anyone with a serious understanding of history, or born before the fall of the Iron Curtain would tell you that the cold war ended with IRNF treaty.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intermediate-Range_Nuclear_Forces_Treaty

    The fall of the USSR had little to do with it. Bringing the nuclear pissing contest to a close ended the cold war.
     
  9. JadeX
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    JadeX Active Member

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    Actually, not really. This is very serious. The reason why the First Cold War was so dramatic was because the Soviet Union and its Warsaw Pact satellites were isolationists - which gave them more leverage to do more dramatic and crazy things. Nobody could really touch them without direct military confrontation.

    Nowadays, with the exception of N Korea and perhaps Iran, no country could really be called "isolationist". Everything is interconnected now, every country is part of a global economy, you simply can't do the same kind of things the USSR did without having devastating economic and political consequences. Modern conflicts are fought not with bombs and threats so much as economic sanctions - the #1 weapon-of-choice in the modern world. We tend to overlook sanctions, because hardly anyone sanctions the US and when they do we hardly notice, but to the countries we've sanctioned, like Russia, it is an intense game of economic tug-of-war.

    So while we may not be doing "Duck & Cover" drills and building fallout shelters in fear of a nuclear first-strike, there still is a tense undercurrent of conflict between NATO and Russia that does give cause for concern. Just like in CW1, there is a new arms race, there are war games, there are espionage efforts, there are threats, etc. And with modern technology coming into play, the risk of miscalculation or accident is greater than ever. Indeed, I believe that if this were to escalate into a hot conflict, it would more likely be due to glitch, error, or mistake than by any intentional act. The undercurrent of rising tensions only highlights this possibility.
    (For example, look at the MH17 shootdown and the Su-24 shootdown - the former was presumably caused by a radar misidentification, and the latter by a dispute over where the border was based on differing maps. For an older, yet even more serious example, look at the 1995 Norwegian rocket incident - an innocent scientific experiment had the Russians shitting themselves thinking we were trying to blind their defenses with a nuclear EMP! Don't underestimate the power of computer glitches and technological malfunctions. Hell, what if one of our ICBM tests gets mistaken for the real thing?)

    Nobody is saying that CW2 is more serious than CW1 - I am absolutely not saying that, at least. I am very aware of how serious CW1 was and I think that would be very very hard to top. But just because it's a different flavour doesn't mean it isn't the same brand.
     
  10. TheRealStegblob
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    TheRealStegblob Active Member

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    I'm fully aware of the state of the new world and how, with the exception of a few extremes, the world is pretty well interconnected, which more or less prevents lots of radical things that happened in the past (Nazi regimes and their wanton full-scale international invasions and empiralism, countries going under 'the iron curtain' and the very things that caused them to happen in the first place) from really ever happening again, and I am aware of how bad things could get. America (and most of the rest of the world) has been imposing sanction after sanction on Russia and if there was ever a real recipe for war, it's the refusal of trade. Russia is currently undergoing a minor recession (that I BELIEVE, with my limited knowledge and insight, is actually stabilizing now and not sinking any lower) due to the sanctions placed on it/also by it, but really this is hardly anything out of the ordinary, for whatever that says about the state of our world.

    The days of two international governments trying to proxy-win a bunch of countries and suppress the spread of government ideologies are for a large part completely over, along with all the hot proxy wars. Not that any of this stuff still doesn't happen, it certainly does. Of course now we're dealing with a different situation, one of international trade that has ramifications felt across the entire world, but nowhere near anything from the actual Cold War. Would I go so far as to consider the current state of events some kind of 'Cold War-lite'? Sure. Could things get progressively worse to the point it's a full on Cold War? It's possible, but I kind of doubt it. History Books definitely aren't going to be calling this "Cold War II".
     
  11. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    Again, the Cold War was fueled by the threat of nuclear proliferation. With that gone, the international wrestling match between communism and the west has become Russia, China, Iran and the west.

    But without nukes it's entirely incidental, nothing more notable than the power balance between Pakistan and India, Greece and Turkey, or Peru and Ecuador. They do stuff we don't like so we do stuff they don't like. But the world isn't going to get wiped out in a nuclear apocalypse so who the fuck cares?
     
  12. JadeX
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    JadeX Active Member

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    That's partially the problem, actually, and that's what all those anti-nuclear ultra-liberals love to ignore: The less nukes you have, the more survivable nuclear war is, and therefore the concept of nuclear warfare becomes more appealing and thus more likely.

    The whole idea of Cold War-era deterrence relied on Mutual Assured Destruction; that is, nobody survives, nobody wins, it's just "The End", the last page of the story we call human history. The two keywords here are MUTUAL and ASSURED. We no longer have that. Now we only have the "Destruction" part remaining, and while that is indeed terrifying, it isn't enough. Nowadays, with our reduced arsenals, even if every armed nation in the world unleashed every last one of its nukes, it still would not be enough to end us. Millions or even billions would die, but still, millions or even billions would nonetheless survive. That means that, with the right strategy, modern nuclear war is "winnable" - for whatever "winning" is worth - and that should scare the shit out of everyone.

    Having too many nukes is bad, sure. But having too few is infinitely worse. And that's the direction we're heading, with arms reductions treaties out the wazoo. And worse yet, that's what everyone loves to ignore the most. Whether we like it or not, nuclear weapons are here to stay, and they are not something that should be played with just because some delusional asshat in the UN has visions of a grand rainbows-and-unicorns utopia. Fact is, we need MAD or else nuclear war is inevitable, be it by accident or intent, it will happen at some point unless we have enough weapons to kill everybody - it sounds harsh, but that's how it works. Mutual Assured Destruction was the only thing that prevented all-out nuclear war, and without it, war is bound to happen at some point.

    As nice as it would be to just "get rid of nukes", it isn't that simple. We've opened Pandora's Box and we either have to deal with it or it will deal with us. You can't just close the box and forget about it; the lid has no lock, and the seal is broken.
     
  13. TheRealStegblob
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    TheRealStegblob Active Member

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    [Citation needed]
     
  14. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    Whether we have more or less nukes, I think the overall object should be: "Let's not provoke a nuclear war" because let's be honest, even if we don't blow all of humanity off the face of the Earth and render this planet a Venus 2.0, we're still gonna have to live with the repercussions, and those repercussions are more than likely to be dire. No one would win, even if billions of humans were still standing after the war. You realize how much of everything is connected via electricity? After a nuclear war, those survivors will basically be thrown back to the early 1800s at best.
     
  15. JadeX
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    JadeX Active Member

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    @TheRealStegblob : It's common sense, really. Let me put it to you like this: would you start a fight with somebody if there was a 100% chance that that person will snap your neck and kill you? Of course not. But what if the worst that could happen to you is a broken arm or leg? Now you don't lose as bad, now you start thinking "Well, maybe if I break his arm first, he can't hurt me as bad..." See what I mean?

    Either way, @Link the Writer is right, nuclear war of any scale would be very, very bad. While we may not be able to close Pandora's Box, the least we can do is keep it out of reach of children (N Korea, Iran, Israel, etc). I think one big step in decreasing the likelihood of nuclear war would be to decommission ICBMs; 15 minutes from launch to impact gives you roughly 6 minutes to respond to a detected launch, and that is simply not enough time to think given the consequences. That's exactly why MRBMs and IRBMs are now a thing of the past, because they had 5 minutes or less flight time and did not give adequate response time, if any at all. I think we're kidding ourselves to think that 15 minutes is somehow better.

    I think Ronald Reagan, while I may not have agreed with most of his policies, completely nailed it when he said:
    "We had many contingency plans for responding to a nuclear attack. But everything would happen so fast that I wondered how much planning or reason could be applied in such a crisis... Six minutes to decide how to respond to a blip on a radar scope and decide whether to unleash Armageddon! How could anyone apply reason at a time like that?"
     
  16. TheRealStegblob
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    TheRealStegblob Active Member

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    This has nothing to do with absolute total mutual assured destruction. Even if one country launched a nuclear device at another country, it's assured the rest of the world would immediately turn on them and thinking some country is just going to blitzkrieg bomb all the major superpowers of the world or something is ridiculous. Not to mention Link the Writer's incredibly valid point that nuking one part of the world is going to have intense ramifications outside just killing people.

    The metaphor truly works like this;

    You wouldn't kill a man if you knew 20 other guys wouldn't immediately kill you back. It's also worth noting (as it always is) that nuclear bombs are not the only bombs. Even if nukes didn't exist, we'd still, you know, have bombs capable of almost as much destruction.
     
  17. X Equestris
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    X Equestris Contributing Member Contributor

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    Not if you're a rational actor. The problem is, not everyone in possession of nukes is rational. North Korea's leadership is crazy enough one could see them launching, and I don't know if they'd care if they got their nation totally destroyed.

    Also, I'd like to see the existing weapons you assert are in the same league as modern thermonuclear warheads.
     
  18. TheRealStegblob
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    TheRealStegblob Active Member

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    North Korea doesn't even have the means to launch a nuclear warhead, let alone any nuclear warheads, lol. And yes, you can paint them as senseless barbarians all you want who would happily blow everything up because they're insane; but it'll never make it true. Kim Jong Un and his inner circle might be corrupt, evil and downright comically awful fucking people, but they care just as much about not getting killed as you do. If you want a real threat like that to worry about, I'd consider the possibility of a middle eastern terrorist group ever gaining the ability to launch a warhead.

    No one said nonnuclear weapons "are in the same league" as nuclear weapons, avoid trying to make those assertions in the future, please. But a nonnuclear bomb is still a fucking bomb. Arguably the largest part of a nuclear bomb is not the massive detonation, but the literal decades of radiant fallout, which conventional bombs do not have, but a bomb will still blow you the fuck up and make your cities fall into rubble. Take all the nukes away and we'd still be worrying over people dropping shit like this on us.

    At the end of the day, bombs. We have bombs. We have bombs and missiles and we've developed ways to deploy them that don't require slow moving aircraft that just drop them the same way you drop an egg. Nuclear weapons are a special case, however. If one country suddenly drops a bomb on another country (especially any first world countries), massive political unrest and war would break out, but you can bet if one country nuked someone else, the rest of the world would stop them. It's still mutually ensured destruction, so it makes your ridiculous "WHAT IF NORTH KOREA NUKES SOMEONE CUZ THEY JUST DONT CARE ROFL" even weaker, if North Korea truly didn't give a shit (it does, stop being ignorant), even if they nuked someone and we didn't have nukes to destroy them back, the rest of the world would destroy them.

    If a country deploys a nuke, they're as dead as the people they bomb. So long as we don't truly have any devastating weapon (nuclear or conventional) fall into the hands of people who truly don't care about mutually assured destruction, we're as fine as we could possibly be.

    For the record, if you think nukes are what we should REALLY be worried about, you're going to hate it when countries that don't have access to nuclear devices start building biological weapons.
     
  19. Lewdog
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    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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    Underestimating North Korea is the worst possible thing you can do. When Russia comes out and says that North Korea's actions are making it so that other countries will have the right to invade them without recourse from the rest of the world, then the shit has hit the fan.
     
  20. TheRealStegblob
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    Underestimating?
    All North Korea is doing is threatening it will build nuclear warhead missiles and shoot them at people, but it's well established they aren't even able to launch a missile, let alone do they even have any warheads (because they fucking don't, lol). I mean, North Korea is insane, I am not doubting this, but I'm a bit of a North Korea buff (if I do say so myself). They aren't able/aren't going to nuke anyone. If they DID have nuclear weapons, might they? Er, perhaps? Perhaps not. I highly doubt they would because even though they're insane, they aren't stupid. They know what nuking anyone means for them.

    They're a backwater, international law violating turdhole that basically kidnaps people, tortures and murders thousands every year and commits constant warcrimes against their own people on top of the fact they are now trying to threaten the rest of the world with nuclear assault. Of course it's getting to the point the rest of the world is sick of their shit, it's far past time they were. One of the biggest reasons North Korea has been allowed to exist for so long is because of its close proximity to China (you think China wants us invading a country so close to them?) and for awhile China was pretty buddy-buddy with North Korea, but now even China fucking hates them. Their days are literally numbered and I'm certain within a decade North Korea isn't going to be on the map anymore, but that doesn't mean they're a massive threat that isn't to be underestimated, they're just literally fucking retarded.
     
  21. Lewdog
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    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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    North Korea has now tested 4 nuclear bombs, including the last one that created an earthquake that registered in China at 5.1. The also use Uranium instead of Plutonium and is said to have enough enriched uranium to make 5 nuclear weapons.
     
  22. TheRealStegblob
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    TheRealStegblob Active Member

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    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/northkorea/9990758/North-Koreas-nuclear-weapons-a-bomb-is-one-thing-a-warhead-is-another.html

    A couple of years old, but nothing has changed since then.
     
  23. Lewdog
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    It has changed over the last two years. North Korea's latest missile test showed they can launch a missile into space, which they had never done before. Also, there is still discussion whether the latest picture to come out of North Korea, was actually a nuclear warhead, or just a model of one. You have to prepare for the worst and hope for the best.
     
  24. TheRealStegblob
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    TheRealStegblob Active Member

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    Look, dude. North Korea will never launch a nuke even if they ever get the means to properly launch one (which I personally doubt they ever will). This is just some shitty little article from Vox but it covers the situation pretty nicely.

    http://www.vox.com/2016/3/4/11160314/north-korea-nuclear-threat

    North Korea isn't "insane", they're not going to launch nukes against anyone. If anything makes you feel any better, China is 100% against North Korea these days, meaning they've literally lost their only real "ally", and the very one that was pretty much protecting them from international repercussion. At THIS point the only reason no one has invaded North Korea yet is because;

    1.) They are not a legitimate threat to anyone but themselves.

    2.) Invasions are always messy and generations of ramifications would become, as after we deposed of the insane regime there'd be disputes over who takes over a la in the style of post-WW2, plus it'd be an uncomfortable invasion to say the least, with China breathing down the necks of any and all invading forces, wary of 'any funny business'.

    3.) Invading them means hundreds of thousands of civilians and prisoners would die just so we could cull literally a tiny circle of insane people.

    4.) We have better things to worry about at the moment than deposing of what (and I am not underplaying anything when I call it this) the analwart of Asia.

    It's hard, I know, to think of an entity the scope of an entire nation as just a loud, harmless retard. But you really need to understand that that is literally what North Korea is. It'd be laughable if it weren't for the fact that thousands of people suffer under one of the most repressive and fucked up regimes of human history. North Korea isn't even comparable to things like Nazi Germany or Soviet Russia or even the inanity of Huge Chavez, the entire nation is literally an isolated backwater with a general population that literally believes, LITERALLY BELIEVES, that Kim Jong Il invented the fucking hamburger.

    It's hard to not consider a country saying "we're going to nuke people" as anything other than a serious threat, in a lot of justifiable ways you're right to be afraid, but you have to take a moment to really consider North Korea, and in fact, nuclear weapons as a whole.

    Nukes are really the ultimate "legitimacy" to a lot of countries. They want them just because it means 'you've arrived' and are finally one of the big boiz that have nuclear capabilities. Do you think if the world actually believed North Korea could and would launch nuclear devices against other countries that we wouldn't fucking stop them? The truth might be less exciting than the stimulating fear, but trust me. North Korea isn't ever going to nuke anyone.
     
  25. Lewdog
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    I'm sorry, but I'm not going to follow this idea that North Korea is an inept backwater country that no one should fear. If this were true, then the United States wouldn't have just risked a huge provocation of Russia and China, by sending 6 of their most high-tech missile defense systems to South Korea.

    Believe me, or not, depending on your feelings, but I watch A LOT, and read A LOT of information about North Korea. I'm a big news junkie. I can tell you all kinds of fucked up stuff about North Korea, including the one you said about Kim Jong Il inventing the hamburger. Did you know that men in North Korea can only have one of ten haircuts? Did you know that the women of North Korea have to chose between 18 different kinds of haircuts? Did you know that the people of North Korea don't think that Kim Jong Un shits or pisses? It's totally insane how brainwashed the people of North Korea are.

    I've also been paying close attention to the University of Virginia student that was arrested and recently given 15 years hard labor for taking down a propaganda sign while on vacation in North Korea. He's from Wyoming, Ohio which is just northwest of Cincinnati, not far from where I grew up and used to live.
     
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