It’s been several days since MH17 was shot down. The accepted OPEN SOURCE INTEL readout is that the Russians provided the SA-11 (BUK) that was used to UKR “Separatists” and they used it to shoot down the plane. There are no OSINT direct links between RU and the separatist who hit the button on the BUK. RU has been identified as the training source for the “separatists” for much of the armor, AA, and Artillery they have provided.
It is becoming something of an open secret that the “Separatists” are thoroughly leavened with Russian GRU and Russian soldiers to the extent that the smart money now bets on a GRU trigger puller for the BUK. Voice data intercepts have identified at least one known GRU journeyman Special War leader.
As the bodies crashed into the wheat field of East UKR, loud insistent knocks were heard in President and Prime Minister offices across the EU. Those same knocks, though softer and less insistent have been heard essentially all spring and summer. In May they were heard as the Crimean Anschluss was effected by RU. And throughout June and July, soft repeat knocks were heard as the RU “Special War” in East UKR proceeded.
And now, over the past 6 days those knocks have gone from simply louder to thunderous. These knocks are of Reality calling. It would appear that the Reality of RU actions has come to sit on the doorsteps of all of the EU. While MOST of the deceased were Malay there were a LARGE number of Dutch and a smattering of residents from a number of EU countries. And as those bodies are identified, and repatriated, there are going to be a number of national Chief Executives with fresh bodies on their lawns. Nothing QUITE concentrates the attention of a Chief Executive like fresh coffins.
The question is “WHAT to DO?!?”
The country most hurt by this tragedy is the Netherlands. The Royal Family is doing what Royal Families have done for centuries, contacting, talking, comforting the families of the dead, demonstrating that Fealty IS a 2 way street and binds both ways.
The fragments of Dutch Government statements making their way to my Flyover Country comfy chair strongly suggest that the Dutch have been shoved into ACTION mode. I have long experience with genetic Dutchmen and while not quick to anger, they CAN exceed their acceptability limits. When this happens the response tends to be serious, and implacable. It often takes as much to STOP us as it does to get us moving.
In the real world, what can the Dutch do militarily. Having perused a recently updated but also dated as 1985 ORBAT, one finds that the Dutch have a well designed military for their own territorial defense and perhaps the ability to assist in Peacekeeping expeditions. That SAME ORBAT indicates that the Dutch aren’t going to be rolling hot iron towards UKR anytime soon.
The REST of the EU numbers suggest that the deficits causing the EU to restrict themselves to hand wringing are not materiel, but more in the area of intestinal fortitude deficits. A goodly portion of this comes from the USA. We have, for over 60 years, told virtually all of Western Europe that we had their back (and fronts, and flanks as well). In the last few years we have suggested that they might want to stand on their own two feet in terms of defense but we haven’t said this very loudly. And now we reap what we sow.
As I commented above, the fragments of Dutch Government statements making it this far into Flyover Country suggest that the Dutch may well be more than ready to act in the sanctions arena. This will be a double edged sword, in that there are a LOT of areas in which the Dutch are close partners with the Russians. Which basically means that any sanctions they effect will be substantive. And hurt the RU.
It will be interesting to watch as the Netherlands, one of the EU’s smaller countries, leads the EU into areas that they have feared to tread the last decade or so.
Time will tell.
AS always, the forgoing is completely the opinion of this swamp dweller with the Blue Navel.