Ukraine, a New Cold War & Some Hot Battleships

Episode 8,   Apr 09, 2022, 11:16 PM

In this episode host, Iain Ballantyne talks to Dr Robert Farley, a long-time US-based contributor to WARSHIPS IFR magazine, who currently teaches at the Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce, University of Kentucky.

They begin with a survey of the Russia-Ukraine War, looking at how the West has handled a major conflict in Europe both diplomatically and military, including aspects of the struggle at sea.

Iain and Rob go on to discuss the following: the practicality of a NATO No-Fly Zone; how such a move could see a clash at sea between Russia and Ukraine; the Russian-imposed Black Sea blockade of Ukraine; the prevention of wheat shipments; a possible amphibious assault on Odessa by Moscow’s naval forces (and its viability).

Among other things Iain and Rob talk about is how the West can best assist Ukraine if it is confronted with a long struggle. They also weigh up whether or not, beyond its current military blunders, the Kremlin has a long game. Might Vladimir Putin be playing ‘11th-dimensional chess’?

In addition to touching on the continuing spectre of nuclear weapons use by Moscow, Iain and Rob discuss whether or not there are useful parallels between the 1982 Falklands War and today’s conflict in Ukraine. They also chat about the possibility of China invading Taiwan and whether Beijing would be able to achieve an element of surprise.

In addition to considering where the US Navy stands today in terms of handling its global commitments - and its recent missteps in warship building programmes - the discourse includes how the Russia-China strategic partnership may or may not evolve.

Adding a dash of naval history, Iain and Rob nominate some noteworthy battleships, namely Japan’s Kongo Class (Rob) and the UK’s Warspite and Rodney (Iain). Finally, Rob gives his view on how the new Cold War between East and West may evolve in years to come.

• Iain Ballantyne is the Editor of WARSHIPS International Fleet Review magazine. 
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• In addition to teaching at the Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce at the University of Kentucky, Rob Farley writes extensively about an array of defence issues. They include airpower, sea power and military innovation. He is a Senior Editor of ‘Lawyers, Guns and Money’ and manager of the LGM podcast. He's available on Twitter at @drfarls