(Appologies to Pixar and Buzz Lightyear. It just fit too well)
[Marginal Notes: We DID tell you these backwater missives would be irregular, OK?]
So the Slings and Arrows of Outrageous Fortune, the Vicissitudes of Life, and a plague of Biblical Proportions (fly cross country non stop, work 76 hours in the next 5 days and return non-stop and see if YOU don’t get a Plague. Yes the $$$ spend but the cough is NASTY!), have all conspired to give me the time to write this entry in the blog.
Plus a comment from a respected Twitter Literati started this whole string of thought off at a gallop. Relevant factoids:
1) VVP has amassed HOW many thousand troops with HOW much armor etc on the borders of Ukraine again this week??
2) Estonia, Poland (!!!!) and Lithuania have asked to be considered favorably as sites for NATO bases (with no real hurry, last Thursday would be nice).
3) The few A-10’s we have loitering in the Baltics really look lonely and could use some playmates.
RIGHT NOW (2230 29-6-2015) the situation on the borders is just tense/tight. Turtle-pussy tight. Bottom of the 9th, 2 out, 2 on, down by one run tense. One misguided or hung over non-com/subaltern could remake the World by accident tense.
I think you get the picture.
The question is, WHY the F are they THERE???
Simple. What XXCommittee calls Putin’s Special Warfare, what others call Hybrid Warfare likes to have the old standard Blitkrieg warfare ready to go to back it up. Works better that way it seems.
By now, after 18 months of this, anypone with 2 eyes and as many synapses to rub together has to recognize that Crimea and half of Ukraine are Proofs-Of-Concept for Putin’s Special Warfare. EFFECTIVE Proofs-Of-Concept, and quite honestly highly successful Proofs.
The costs to VVP have been feckless and quite ineffectual in causing him to stop his aggression.
Well, we really should look at what these costs are before going much further.
On the Left Hand we have the Economic and Diplomatic Sanctions enacted and pointed at him by the Western Civilized Industrialized World. Feckless and ineffectual are polite terms. We won’t go gutter-crawling for more descriptive terms, though the reader may if desired. These costs have simply not been painful at all. Certainly not painful enough to develop notice by VVP.
Now on the RIGHT hand we have the internal costs to VVP. The various groups of Mothers all over CCCP 2.0 demanding to know the fate of their disappeared children (regardless of age they’re still SOMEONE’s child) are starting to get noticed. And their protests and demonstrations are starting to get noticed outside the CCCP 2.0. THIS is a much bigger issue to VVP than the West’s “sanctions” have ever been.
Many folks are beginning to wonder whether VVP was distracted when the Mom’s started to demonstrate, or whether he may have miscalculated their growth potential when he didn’t land on them with heavy feet in the very beginning. Sanctions come and go, polities can be made to easily forget, and sanctions can simply evaporate. BUT. As is amply demonstrated by a number of Latin American countries, MOM’s with pictures of “Disappeared” family members are forever.
SO what we have is a situation in which VVP has a few options to end the costs that mean something to his goals. He can find a way to appease the MOMs (unlikely as hell), or he can drop his Mr Nice Guy mask, expose his Checkist Core and simply make the MOMs disappear as well.
OR he can decide that the costs at this point are too high and stop. Equally unlikely as above.
OR he can find another option, and THAT is what has Toomas Ilves (Pres of Estonia) and the folks in Latvia and Poland soiling their small clothes. He COULD decide that, if he can roll up Ukraine, Transdniestra, and half of the Baltics in a short enough time frame, all would be forgiven.
Phil Breedlove (the 4 Star Gen who carried the SACEUR Portfolio) has been calling attention to this option for at least the last 10 months, and being roundly ignored by US-CinC. NOT so with other NATO Generals, who have been echoing him.
In ref Poland, (where BHO is not held in high esteem) I am fairly certain that there are a group of old pensioners who have worn Stars on their Shoulders who have been drafted to come and sit in more than one conference room, trying to down load all of what they know to the youngsters who aren’t old enough to remember the Bad Old Days. I wish them luck. THAT kind of Paradigm Shift usually takes blood, or hallucinogens, or GALLONS of Vodka and Slivovitz…I would submit to the Pensioners that they likely don’t have time for the kind ways of shifting the young generals. Though the pensioners know this MUCH more clearly than I.
It might also be noted that SACEUR has more than one master, though most anyone you ask will say he reports to Washington, and NATO is only the US. Those folks would be WRONG and may need to do some historical research.
If you’re under 50, this means you are going to need to read some books since Google and Wiki ain’t gonna cut it on this, trust me.
Just keep in mind that Phil has more than one master. I DAILY thank the Lord it’s Gen Breedlove’s problem and not anyone I know or love doing THAT job.
Why ARE all them Soviet Soldiers sitting on the border, facebooking and Twittering where they are??
They provide a credible force backing up Special Warfare.
They provide a solid jump-off point for a Jump Start Invasion.(Small clothes soiled daily over this fact)
They provide a source for a force to reinforce Transdniestra.
They provide a credible force for cutting a swathe to Transdniestra should VVP want that.
They keep VVP’s hand hidden and give him maximum flexibility and max options.
OK. You in the back…
“WHY should you care??”
I’m going to guess you were born before 1980 and thus have no idea what a Surgent CCCP meant to the world. Look through some history books contemporaneous to the 60’s and 70’s and see just what kind of world we lived in then.
THAT is why you and everyone able to read this should care.
You and your peers may have to find a way to get POTUS to care, if you intend to survive.
AS always, the above is purely and totally my (Never to be Humble) Opinion, Drawn and cut from Whole Cloth, and reflective of my own biases and perhaps my own lack of information.
Again as always, Take it for what its worth, this was done on a closed course, by a professional driver, your mileage may vary and no live oxen were gored in the writing.